RE: Indexing: how to test an index

Subject: RE: Indexing: how to test an index
From: "Lathrop, Sarah" <Sarah-Lathrop -at- forum-financial -dot- com>
To: "'Melissa Kucbel-Saumier'" <melissaks -at- eicon -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 15:22:01 -0500


The book "Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry" has a very good section on creating and editing indexes. I'll highlight some of the information from the editing section here, but you might want to consider adding this book to your library.

1. Check the spelling.
2. Check for inconsistent capitalization of words.
3. Check for differences in wording and inconsistent terminology.
4. Check to be sure that items don't show up in both the singular and plural forms, thus creating unnecessary entries in the index.
5. Check for redundant secondary entries (two secondary entries that refer to the same page number but are shown under the same main entry).
6. Make sure all variations of wording for the same subject appear in the index.
7. Make sure appropriate entries are combined as secondary entries under a main entry.
8. Check the number of page references for each entry. If there are too many, create secondary entries.
9. Check that the same secondary entries appear under various forms of the same topic. For example, if there are two possible words that the reader might think of to research a subject, both should appear in the index and the entries should point to all the same references.
10. Check any "see" and "see also" references.
11. Check that the size of the index is appropriate for the size of the text. If it seems too small, there might be serious omissions.
12. Correct any problems with page breaks in the index (for example, the page break comes in the middle of the secondary entries).


-----Original Message-----
From: Melissa Kucbel-Saumier [mailto:melissaks -at- eicon -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 2:01 PM
Subject: Indexing: how to test an index


I was asked to index one of our manuals (the source files are in
FrameMaker) and I find it quite hard to test the result against
the final document. I am used to testing instructions against an
application, but what are the things to look out for when testing
an index built from scratch?

Thank you!
Mélissa Kucbel-Saumier
Technical writer
Eicon Technology Corporation
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
melissaks -at- eicon -dot- com

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