Use layout to give emphasis and clarity to your document. You can emphasize content
by manipulating the physical appearance and arrangement of the document page. Effective layout
reduces the density of technical material by simplifying the material,
highlighting key points of its content, and giving an attractive look and consistency to the whole.
Good page layout helps readers find the message easily and understand its importance in the total
scheme of things.
The following approaches are frequently used together.
- Subject headings and subheadings give the reader
labels that identify the contents of a given section of text. They are highly effective
tools for clarifying and emphasizing material and should be used extensively.
- Headers and footers appear at the top or the bottom of a page and provide a
running identification of the topic of the page. Most word processing programs allow
you to expand a page number header or footer using such materials as your name or
a topic. Avoid putting in lengthy headers or footers. See Example of Page Layout.
- Lists (chunking). The arrangement of material into lists or topical chunks of text is
another very effective means of organizing, simplifying, and highlighting material.
Bulleted or enumerated lists not only help readers find materials but also convey
logical information about the coordinate and hierarchical importance of the material.
See Example of Page Layout and
- White space. Another feature that simplifies the page is the white (empty) space,
which can be used to isolate and thus highlight text. The top, bottom, and side
margins of a document should be ample, normally at least an inch. Indenting
paragraphs and double-indenting blocks of text effectively set off and thus emphasize
material. Using extra spacing between the lines of text may also reduce the density
of the text. See Example of Page Layout.
- Typography. Use fonts and typefaces to give emphasis to material.
Capital letters, italics, boldface, underlining, and font size may all be used to highlight certain kinds of material. See
Example of Page Layout.
## Layout ##
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