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I am sometimes a user of PDF documents. Here's my take, as a user and as an advocate for other users.
Numbering: apparently printer drivers vary. I have printed a range, and then found out it was the wrong range, because the document had different numbering for front matter. OK, learn your lesson. Next time I altered the range to accommodate of the front matter. Then it printed out the range based on the numbers in the body. Have that happen a couple of times and you might do what we did and get rid of numbering the front matter separately.
Odd/even pages: I know about empty pages at the end of a chapter, so I just keep scrolling. But I've seen others stop, wonder what was up, ask why whoever did this skipped a page. Some kind of mistake, right? I tell them it's because of the end of a chapter and it's on an odd page. The new chapter is supposed to start on an odd page, so we skip one. Their response: Why?
Odd/even pages: A bulleted list jogs over at the end of a page. Is that a list level two, one, or three? I've had people ask why it is jumping back and forth. Well, you see, I explain, that's for printing and binding. Oh? Field reports are that when people print, they mostly print one-sided.
Our standard is still to use odd/even, because we still provide printed and bound copies to a few customers on special request. It's becoming rarer now that we charge extra for the printing. I would make the point that the rare cases of printing are not worth the annoyance of the odd/even layout. If you need to print occasionally, then center the text column and increase your margins so there's room either way. You decrease your column width as a bonus.
Speaking of column width. If I'm reading a printed manual, I like two columns. If I get a PDF with two columns, I despise it. Scroll down, scroll back up, scroll down. It's a pain. I hope no one provides two-column PDFs unless it is strictly for printing.
My 2p. tims
From: techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Mike Starr
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 9:00 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Odd/Even formatting
And none of those tools is capable of putting numbers on printable pages?
I did not suggest that ANYONE would be confused by title page being
numbered 1... that's your justification for preferring it. Any number of
publishers do that just as any number of publishers put page 1 on the
first page of content. Your suggesting that "No one who looks at many
contemporary PDFs will be confused by the title page being numbered 1."
is a false statement on its face. I do suppose that some readers could
be confused either way but with neither group having statistical
Either way is correct and neither way is wrong. I believe different
odd/even pages with page numbers on the outside edge when duplex printed
adds value. You do not. Fortunately for me in my work my tools can do
that yet by your standards my tools are inferior. In addition, in my
work, I AM the style guide. :-)
Mike Starr, Writer
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - WordPress Websites
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