Flexible documents


Today, most content is developed on word processors. This wonderful software give writers many advantages in terms of spellcheckers, grammar checkers, layouts, etc. One of the many benefits of word processors is the ability to move your content around easily. Whether you want to move words, paragraphs, images, or tables, it is just a mouse drag away. To make full use of this freedom, it is necessary that you change the style of your writing subtly.

A key aspect of making your document flexible is to avoid the use of words like following, above, before and preceding.

Study these examples.

The list of colors in the rainbow is as follows: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange.

The following image shows you the colors of the rainbow.


In the first sentence, the whole sentence will move together and the use of the word follows is not too much of a worry. In the second sentence, however, we are limiting ourselves to keeping the image below the sentence. By using the word following, we close out options to put the image above or adjacent to the sentence.

The concept of single sourcing and reusable content has been floating around for a long time. Software developers are constantly trying to build tools to achieve the dream of single sourcing or reusable content. However, tools alone are not enough. We must first change the way we write so that we are able to take advantage of the tools available.


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