RE: "Forward" referencing

Subject: RE: "Forward" referencing
From: Metzger Karen <Metzger_Karen -at- prc -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 20:21:42 -0400

Does your organization consider the readability of its documentation
important? It should! Your customer should come first, and it is a lot to
ask them to flip a few thousand pages in EITHER direction just so you can
save paper. Customers are smart enough to realize when their needs come
second to the company's bottom line, and this tends to--in the long
run--affect the company's bottom line anyway. Don't skimp where your
customer is concerned, and don't underestimate the importance of your

The note from one respondent (whose message I deleted before I could get the
name--sorry!) about numbering the figures by the section is a MUST for the
way you are having to compile your document (we always do this, and for
large docs it is especially important).

On the other hand, one must wonder why in the world 5000 pages of
documentation are necessary? They may not read it at all......... but that's
another problem!!

My advice bits

Karen Metzger
703-458-4246 (pager-always)
703-449-9756 (mon, tue, fri)
703-412-8479 (wed, thu)
703-963-5350 (cell phone)
Senior Technical Writer
PTO SETA Program
Crystal City, Virginia

> Has anybody ever run into this situation: an author wants to use what he
> calls "forward" referencing--that is, he wants to reference figures in an
> early section that actually appear in a later section. So, for example, in
> Section 2, you might get a "See Figure 10-1." We have considered putting
> the figure in both (or more) sections, but this is a huge (5,000-page)
> document and all of these figure additions could add 1,000 pages to the
> document. The author is unwilling to have the figure appear in the earlier
> section only.
> We also considered gathering all of the figures together in one volume and
> numbering them independently of the sections. Problem is, we won't have
> the production time to renumber them in the order they appear in the
> We are getting this document in chunks, and definitely not in order. So,
> while we have Sections 5, 6, and 7 now, we won't get Section 1 until the
> very last minute.

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