Combined Online and Hardcopy Design

Since 2001, Global Systems Science (GSS) books have been designed for easy reading both on paper and on computer display.

Between 2005 and 2010, the books were distributed only as PDF files.  Those and the paper/PDF versions of 2001-2005, used some simple principles of page design that we call "Combined Online and Hardcopy Design" (COHD).

Desirable Layouts

Page layouts optimized for both hard copy and online reading
The trick is to realize that a person viewing the document on a computer will likely take advantage of a magnification feature to display only 1/2 page at a time (150% or so), making print size "larger-than-life" and very easy to read. However, in that mode, 2-column formats can be very cumbersome in that the reader has to alternately scroll up and down to go from column to column—very irritating.

If you use text-block/graphic arrangements shown here as "Desirable Layouts", the reader will never have to scroll up to read from the bottom of the first column to the top of the second column. They can keep scrolling down continually.

Page layouts that only work well in hard copy
Undesirable layouts:

On the contrary, "Undesirable Layouts" are "forbidden" since they force the reader into the undesirable up/down scrolling when reading from column to column.

It's fine to have parts of a page that have 1-column text blocks, but it's best to still keep the column width significantly less than the full page width, since it's much harder to read very long lines of text.

Other arrangements are possible: you can have 3 columns (appropriate for even smaller font sizes in hard copy). Just apply similar principle (imagine reader viewing only 1/2 page at a time—top/bottom) and it will be just fine. Each half page can be a readable "page unit" unto itself.

Starting in 2010, all the GSS books were converted, chapter by chapter, to web pages. To facilitate printing books on paper, there are "print-friendly" versions, one chapter per web page.