RE: One big word document or break apart

Subject: RE: One big word document or break apart
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 09:23:20 -0400

Hi Daniel,

The answer depends not on the mechanics of Word but on your readers'

If contributors, reviewers, or users are interested only in specific
sections of the large document, it makes sense to break it up.

Otherwise, a single, 300-page document with a screen capture on each
page is very manageable in Word 2003. A few recommendations:

* Make sure you have 1 GB of RAM.
* Make sure you have SnagIt. (300 screen captures!)
* Save your screen captures in PNG format.
* Use anchored (not floating) graphics.
* Open and edit the document locally, not over a network.
* Someone recommended referenced (aka linked) screen shots. Use these
only in a controlled environment, e.g. if you prepare the whole thing in
Word and then convert to PDF for printing. If you're going to send it
anywhere as a Word document, go for embedded graphics.

By the way, kudos on enforcing Word styles!

-- Dan Goldstein

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel Ng
> One of my upcoming projects. We have one single 300 page Word
> document. Each page contains a dialog screenshot, and every field
> described. Old application, fixed window size, for Informix.
> Previously maintained by developers and plus one tech writer,
> as of recently.
> New developments, UI platform has been upgraded, but the
> items, fields in the dialogs are the same -- so screenshots in
> the document need to be recaptured. Aaaah.
> I have one single large word document.
> * Should I break up into smaller sub documents by application
> modules thus easier to assign work? But then I lose my
> integrated Table of Contents.
> * Should I remove all screenshots and for every dialog?
> What's your experience for printed documentation?
> * I keep the whole thing as one single large document as it is.
> I read that the Master Document feature is terribly
> dangerous, it corrupts, an ill influence.:) Good thing we
> started enforcing the document out well with basic and simple
> use of Word styles. -- my contribution as tech writer:)
> Perhaps this is one of those questions people keep asking;
> pros and cons regardless of the method. Perhaps your
> collective experience could shed some light.

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