Typically writing comments for game is separate step done before other steps. This allows comment author to focus on making clear explanations and presenting ideas clearly.
In comment writing one usually decided which variations to include, and when just reference board without additional variation diagram. However comment author does not finalize diagrams, so they are unlikely to be ready for printing.
Showing Part of Board
Often only small part of board is important in variation. Diagram can specify visible area in board.
Do not show too small area, as it may confuse reader. Include one empty row and column in every direction, if empty areas is close. If no reasonable empty area is close, it is necessary to look at board position to not create distracting effects.
Actual game is almost always shown in full board, even it would not be necessary for including moves.
Move number range
Avoid move number over 100, as these get hard to read, especially when there are lots of numbered stoned in diagram.
Move numbers over 200 should almost never be used.
Variation and diagrams
Combining variations and diagrams allows diagrams that contain alternative continuations for example to show why certain move does not work. These diagrams often start move numbering from 1. This can be done by selecting Start numbering from 1 in diagram creation dialog.
Margins for diagrams
Diagrams are often positioned in middle of text. In such layout suitable distance between text and diagram is needed. if distance is too small, result is confusing and hard to read layout. Too much margin reduces amount of diagrms and text that fits into page. It is usually better to leave too much than too little
GOWrite can add extra white space to diagrams. This may avoid need to adjust diagram margins in layout program, where it often must be done individually for each diagram. Adjustment is available in Options -> Layout and Graphics Options. In dialog select area "Diagram" and ajust margin values.
Typical layout strategies
Number of typical layout strategies exists, roughly speaking "Narrow Column", "Wide Column" and "Fixed Diagram Location"
Narrow Column Width
Typical layout has relatively narrow columns. Column width is often close to board width. Typical narrow column example is on right.
Typical example is two columns in A5. A5 is smallest size, where two columns can be reasonably used. Two columns in A5 may result in quite narrow for board. Two columns in A4 (or landscape A5) results in similat, but less packed layout.
In narrow columns board may be bit wider than text column, as illustrated in picture below. Moves in board may extend significantly outside of text column.
Often board may also be extend bit over (or below) text.
In the example left and right margins for text are marked with red.
Wide column width is easy to typeset. It may be necessary to leave a lot of white space when there are a lot of diagrams compared to explanation text.
In wide column layout it is often possible to add text to either side of bull-board diagram. However this may be unadvisable, as empty space would improve readability.
Wide column is typical used in layouts for textbooks having longer explanations.
Fixed Diagram Locations
In fixed diagram location diagrams are put in same location in every page. Result may be very good, if material is regular enough for this kind of layout. As there is minimal variation in layout, reader quickly learns layout and can find relevant information.
In the example answers to problems are in fixed grid. Typically problems and solutions have very limited text associated with them.
Fixed diagram locations may be suitable for Joseki Dictionaries (Ishida) or problem books.
Small (partial board) diagrams may alternatively be in left or right aligned in column. When properly used, this may give clear connection between text and diagram.
In this example please pay attention to diagram and text for Variation 6 and Variation 7.
However it is not good idea to pack text too tightly. White space can be used to structure comments and improve readability.