Numbering the headings. What is the point?

Subject: Numbering the headings. What is the point?
From: "John David Hickey" <dave -at- toonboom -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 10:54:27 -0400


My first draft of a section of the manual I'm working on has been reviewed
and the comments are starting to trickle back.

One of the suggestions I intend to fight is to number the headings (1.1,
1.2.1, Management thinks would help the reader remember where they
are in the procedure.

It's suitable for engineering documents where the topics may not necessarily
flow from one to the other in an overly-obvious logic. This numbering style
can be useful if you have many sub-sections and the documents are long and

However, I find this numbering unnecessary and clunky, and I don't think
that if the reader really is lost, knowing that they are in section
will help them find themselves.
My manual is task-based and I've grouped the topics together so that the
information flows smoothly. Each major section rarely exceeds 15 pages, I
use a maximum of four heading levels (Heading 1 being the title of a
chapter), and the entire book averages out to about 80 to 100 pages. The
audience is not technically oriented (studio animators for 2D cartoons).

Are there other arguments I could be making to defend an non-numbering
Heading style? I really really don't want this to pass...
Be seeing you,

John David Hickey
Grand Poohbah of Documentation
ToonBoom Technologies
Montreal, Quebec, Canada eh?
pg: 514-205-9209

They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
But if you miss a deadline, you'd better bring the sword.
Don't confuse my opinions with my employer's.
Each exists in blissful ignorance of the other.

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