Index (WAS What sayest me... on Worthless TC Degrees)

Subject: Index (WAS What sayest me... on Worthless TC Degrees)
From: Melanie Shook <mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 14:11:07 -0600

In response to those who think indexes (or indices, whatever your
preference)are not necessary, consider the following example from my
handy-dandy FrameMaker 5.5 manual. Imagine the following: I want to know how
to make glossary/dictionary style headers. I am new to FrameMaker and don't
have time to read the entire 500+ page manual before completing this
particular task.

If I look in the TOC, I wonder: "Is it under 'Books' or 'ToCs and Indexes' -
I know that chapter covers generated lists, so it might have info on those
types of headers, hmmm. If I read the TOC long enough, I find "Creating
Running Headers and Footers" under the chapter on variables. You use
variables to make running headers. Oh. Okay, makes sense, I just didn't
think of that when glancing through the TOC, trying to complete my task.

If I look in the index under "glossaries" I immediately find the page number
- 187.

That's why I always use the index first when trying to complete a specific

MAYBE the book could have been better organized to account for this
particular task, but for EVERY task? Even those that rarely come up for a
user? It's not always apparent to the USER where an item should be in the
overall organization of the book, and every user is different.

A well-designed index provides all users access to information that they
need quickly, in alphabetical order, without thinking about the conceptual
organization of the book.

My 2 cents.

Melanie Shook
Technical Writer
(405) 419-7032
mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com

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