Re: Indexing tangent

Subject: Re: Indexing tangent
From: Lori Lathrop <76620 -dot- 456 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 1994 19:39:05 EST

In response to Bonnie Graham's post ...
> My questions to you techwhirlers (and maybe even especially to you,
> Lori) is what do you think about this? How can you include familiar
> tasks in an index for a manual that is revolutionizing a professional
> area, rather than simply automating an existing process?

Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I'm glad that I
followed proper "netiquette" and read *all* the notes pertaining to
indexing before attempting to compose this reply. Why, you ask? ...
Because, Bonnie, your reply to LaVonna's request for indexing information
was really terrific. It demonstrates that you *do* know a lot about
indexing ... and it also answers your own question :-).

There are essentially three ways to enhance an index:

- think of synonyms for existing terms (in other words, include
entries for terms readers would use)

- consider cross-posting (in other words, it's possible that sub-
entries would also be good primary entries)

- consider reversing the word order to create additional entries.

Also, as you mentioned, using SEE and SEE ALSO references is important.
You should use SEE references to point readers to *preferred*
terminology, and use SEE ALSO references to point readers to *related*

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems to me that you
understand good indexing skills, and I'm assuming that you applied them in
the index you developed in your documentation. Of course, without seeing
the documentation and the index you created, it's impossible to be
completely objective. Perhaps the judge didn't find a term that s/he
thought should be in the index and, consequently, perceived the index as
incomplete. It's hard to say what caused the harsh judgment. But ... my
(free) advice (which I hope is worth a bit more than that!) is: don't
let one judge's comments to undermine your confidence in your indexing
skills because, judging your own indexing advice to LaVonne, I'd say you
have an excellent grasp of what it takes to produce a quality index ...
and I'm not just saying that to make you feel better!

Okay ... I'll stop rambling now ....

Lori Lathrop ----------------> INTERNET:76620 -dot- 456 -at- compuserve -dot- com
Lathrop Media Services
P.O. Box 808
Georgetown, CO 80444

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