[Taxacom] (Fwd) Dichotomous key software

Mary Barkworth Mary at biology.usu.edu
Wed Aug 30 15:25:35 CDT 2006

I agree with your comments about paper re computer based keys. I think
what has thrown people off is the request for software.  We prepare keys
the for the Flora North America grass volumes in word, based on one that
Kay Yatskievych designed. I do not think that software would be easier.
I will pst the file if I can - and send it as an attachment to Jerry.
Basically, one has a different format (and shortcut) for each lead
depending on:
a) whether it is a 1 or 2 digit lead (i.e., 1.  or 10. )
b) the number of 1 and 2 digit leads that it follows.

(a) determines how large a space to tab over before starting the words
in the lead; (b) determines where the left margin is. 

The second tab is a right justified tab for wherever you want the end of
the taxon name to appear.  If, like me, you like to have that stick out
beyond the body of the key, set the right margin of the leads (all
leads) at whatever hang out distance you want.  

I really do find it easy to use. The one problem that the template will
have for most people is that it is set for Sabon type face - but it
could easily be modified for other fonts. Yes, it takes a bit of time to
set up - but it really simplifies writing dichotomous keys for printing.


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