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Introduction to Document Design: Visual Organization

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Introduction to Document Design: Visual Organization
--(c)2002 by Linda Alexander

Good document design helps readers find and understand
information more quickly. It can help organizations and
company save time and money. Therefore, before you begin
writing, and again before writing your final draft,
consider these tips for making your document's design aid
in the clarity of your communication.

1. Before even processing the text, readers should get a
sense of the document's structure through visual
clues such as white space, headings, subheads, bold
face, different size fonts, numbered lists, charts,
etc.

2. Give them a sense of the organization quickly, and
make sure the text supports that organization and
comprehension will be helped before your audience
even begins to read your document.

3. Rather than trying to fit everything in by reducing
font size, good editing eliminates unnecessary words
and sentences. Is your message consistent? Is it
unique and appropriate for your audience? Does your
writing make it easy for readers to understand your
meaning?

4. Use templates (empty documents with preformatted
margins, colors, font faces and sizes) to increase
your efficiency and productivity.

5. Use selective emphasis: Headings, subheads, italics,
pull quotes, and different font sizes are all good
ways to organize sections, break up text and
emphasize important points. Be sure not to overdo it,
however, or your document will be *more* difficult to
read.

6. Keep paragraphs short - they should only contain one
main idea. If you are starting a new idea, begin a
new paragraph.

7. Use numbered, lettered, or bulleted lists to help
your reader follow your thinking.

8. Use spaces between paragraphs, rather than indenting.
It simply looks neater. Use single spacing for your
text and double spacing between paragraphs.

9. Number your pages. Even in early drafts, this will
keep you and your co-authors organized. When the
document is finalizedFree Web Content, your readers will appreciate
being able to turn to a certain page number to find
what they are looking for.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Linda Elizabeth Alexander writes marketing copy for
nonprofits and other businesses. Contact her today to
discuss your next project and get your FREE quote!
mailto:lalexander@write2thepointcom.com
http://www.write2thepointcom.com



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