Re: Downsizing (literally) the manuals

Subject: Re: Downsizing (literally) the manuals
From: Kathy Graden <kgraden -at- MAIL -dot- DANCRIS -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 07:33:27 -0700

Another benefit of using a smaller page size is that it's useful if you
plan to do single sourcing (publishing documents in HTML, on CD-ROM, and on
paper from a single source file). The small page size forces writers to
break information down into smaller chunks that are, conveniently, of a
size that displays nicely on a monitor screen. In online documents, this
can greatly reduce the amount of scrolling a reader has to do. Your
document also doesn't look as if you just dumped it from paper to online.

Case in point: at my company we generate HTML, CD, and paper documents
from Interleaf files. We recently switched from an 8.5 " x 11" page to
7.5" x 9" to make the files more portable across environments.

At 09:47 AM 12/12/97 +0800, Ron Rothbart wrote:
>Currently, our manuals are 8 1/2 x 11. We are proposing downsizing them to
>the standard 7 x 9 1/2 size. The response to our proposal is generally
>positive, but one marketing manager is asking for "data." She wants us to
>come up with marketing or usability studies that show measureable benefits.
>Does anyone know of anything we can use?
>Also, are there other issues besides the ones we've already considered. The
>reasons we've given for downsizing are:
>* Looks more professional
>* It's the standard
>* Other companies in our "space" do it
>* Smaller paper books fit on all book shelves
>* Smaller paper books are less awkward to use
>* The PDFs we make from our manuals would be more usable (less scrolling)
>The costs we've considered are:
>* Creating a new template
>* Applying the new template to legacy documents
>* Perhaps some scrapping of current covers
>* Downsizing cover art
>* Trimming by the printer
>* Adding some kind of space filler to the 8 1/2 x 11 boxes
>Are there other costs and benefits?
>, or

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