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HomeGuidelines > 2. Make text scannable. > 2c. Highlight keywords, phrases, and links > Challenges          





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Bonus! Hot Text chapter (94K, PDF, 2 minutes at 56K)


Highlight from one to three key phrases per paragraph, using boldfacing and underlining. Feel free to reorganize and rewrite.

If working on paper, circle the text to show bolding, underline or surround the text with < and > to indicate a link.


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Other ways to make text scannable

2a. Create a meaningful



 We all solve problems, but most of us have a hard time explaining how we do it. The Gestalt psychologists argue that when we work on solving a problem we struggle to relate each component of the situation to all the other components. We reach for a structural understanding.

We start with a goal in mind, and we reorganize the elements of the problem situation in a new way so that they allow us to reach our goal, thus "solving" the problem.

Because the Gestaltists emphasize organizing as a way of thinking, their work dovetails nicely with the work of their fellow Gestaltists on perception. Gestalt perception studies argue that perceiving is an activity in which the mind imposes an orderly structure on the rush of incoming stimuli. Arnheim’s book Visual Thinking popularized this approach. You might say that in the Gestaltist view, we reorganize what we see in front of us, mentally or physically, until we see what we want—an orderly structure that may draw us closer to our goals.


2b. Insert meaningful
      headlines and

2d. Turn any list into a
       bulleted or numbered

Resources on Scannability

Taking a Position on Scannability

Heuristic Online Text (HOT) Evaluation for Scannability




Computer simulation of nuclear weapons requires not only the most powerful computers available but also the ability to transfer huge amounts of computational data and the capability to display this data in forms that can be more easily understood and analyzed. LDRD researchers have pushed fast data-transfer network technology, making it now possible to use the combined computational power of supercomputers at the three nuclear weapon laboratories and NCSA centers to solve very large, complex problems. The resulting displays involve advanced multimedia technology.




You may have more than one skin type. "Your T-zone may be oily, while your cheeks are dry," says cosmetician Barbara Woo, of the Berkeley spa, Wooing You. "We grow up learning that we have to figure out our own skin type. But most people have several." What to do when you go up to the cosmetics counter? "Treat the symptoms." If your cheeks are dry, for example, exfoliate, then hydrate. But if your forehead and nose get oily, treat those with a cleanser designed "for oily skin."




When you are defining the match fields for relationships, you should keep some points in mind. In general, you are looking for two fields that will contain exactly the same values. The values must be stored, not created on the fly. If the values are exact matches, and you have established a relationship from one table to another, based on these two fields, then the software will pull up that record as a match. It is OK if the two fields have different names. The important thing to note is that the values must match, for a record to be recognized as related. The type of field can be anything except Image. In the related table, the field values must be indexed, so you cannot use a calculation field for a relationship, because calculation values are not indexed, since they are created on the fly. But any other type of field can serve as a matching field. Of course, they should hold the same data type (Text, Number, Date, or whatever).



A Sandia team of bomb-disablement experts developed the Percussion-Actuated Nonelectric (PAN) Disrupter in the early 1990s as a way to keep bomb technicians safe while disabling bombs nonexplosively. With this technique, valuable evidence can be retained. In 1995 the PAN was licensed to Ideal Products of Lexington, Ky.,. This device has become the primary tool used by bomb squads nationwide to disable conventional, handmade-type bombs remotely.




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