Re: Consolidated index

Subject: Re: Consolidated index
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 13:09:41 -0700 (PDT)

In article ORG -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com, KNeeb -at- SagebrushCorp -dot- com (Karen Neeb) writes:
> It would look something like this:
> server, RM 303, UM 538
> installing IM 19, IM 28, IM 37
> setting up UM 542, IM 48
>I think I can overcome the technical aspects of accomplishing this in MS
>Word (I've got some promising leads from several list serves), but I'm not
>sure it's a good idea in the first place. What do you think? Is it too
>confusing? Are RM, UM, and IM too obscure and lengthy? (Remember, they would
>precede every single index entry.) Any other concerns I haven't thought of?

I've worked at places that tried this and although for a
large set a combined index can be useful, I don't think
they're generally successful. As you note, there is a
potential for user confusion about what the initials mean,
even if you include a key.

You also often need to provide more information about where
each entry will lead. For example, what is the difference
between what I'm going to find at RM 303 about the server
and what I'm going to find at UM 538? I can't really tell
from the fact that one is a reference manual and one is a
user's guide.

Remember too that a combined index is going to be larger,
so looking things up will take longer and may lead to
some frustration.

Finally, when different people index different books and
you try to combine them, entries rarely combine correctly.
Often, for example, one indexer will use the plural for something
where another indexer uses the singular. Or, even worse, they
may use terminology slightly differently. Using your example
entries above, one might consider that "setting up"
*includes* installing so they don't have a separate
entry to match other installation entries.

In summary, combined indexes can be helpful but they
usually need a lot of forethought and tweaking.

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address.

"One who gives coin to the poor is rewarded with six blessings, but
one who pledges to a charity receives a free tote bag." David Bader

Previous by Author: Re: initial caps in steps and bulleted lists
Next by Author: Re: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hacko
Previous by Thread: RE: Consolidated index
Next by Thread: Re: Consolidated index

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads