Documentation Size

Documentation Size

Post by Todd Merrim » Mon, 14 Jan 1991 07:32:21

My company publishes software development tools for UNIX, VMS, and MSDOS.
We chose to offer the documentation in 8.5x11 format because:

        (1)     A Usenet poll 2 years ago on,
                comp.unix, and comp.os.vms resulted in responses 2:1 in
                favor of 8.5x11.

        (2)     It is much, much cheaper to produce user manuals
                in 8.5x11 size (in the U.S.).

I want to re-poll the issue and collect the responses via e-mail.
I am not convinced that software publishers are generally concerned about
user's needs and am afraid that most have chosen the PC-size documentation
because of "compatibility" hype.

If you have an opinion, please tell me what you prefer, and I will
summarize in a future posting approx. thirty days from now.  
I will also write letters to various trade journals with the results.

        The choices are (paper sizes):

        ______  8.5x11
        ______  PC (approx. 5.75x8.5)
        ______  A3 (Metric)
        ______  A4 (Metric)
        ______  Other, please specify ___________

        Platforms used at your site:

        ______  Unix
        ______  MSDOS
        ______  VMS
        ______  Other, please specify ________________________


        ______  U.S.
        ______  Europe
        ______  Orient
        ______  Aus/NZ
        ______  Other, please specify ________________________

Thanks for your help.

* Todd Merriman - Software Toolz, Inc.                   * Maintainer of the  *
* 8030 Pooles Mill Dr., Ball Ground, GA 30107-9610       * Software           *

* V-mail (800) 869-3878, (404) 889-8264                  * mailing list       *
      Lead, follow, or get out of the way.


1. What's the best documentation size?

What's the best size paper to use in software documentation?
Before the advent of the PC, 8.5 x 11 was the most common size; but
now 6 x 8.5 seems to be the most popular.  Which do you prefer?
Would it make any difference in your choice of software packages if
you could choose between the two?

   Todd Merriman * 404-841-4000 * Atlanta, GA

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