TOC/Index question

Subject: TOC/Index question
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 19:20:49 -0700

Bonita White <bwhite -at- youcentric -dot- com> wrote:

>I am working on a small document, less than 20 pages (more like 15), and
>I was wondering if I should include a TOC and/or and index. I have
>usually followed the "rule" that everything has a TOC and any doc over
>25 pages has both a TOC and an index; but now there is some question as
>to whether that is the case. Opinions/personal preferences/standards?
>Any/all views would be appreciated.

I wouldn't go by the number of pages if I were you. Instead, step
back from your involvement with the work and ask what users are
going to need. Is the work dense enough that an index will help
users find a topic more quickly? Are your users the kind who
would use an index? Would some other aid (possibly, topic headers
and footers) be more useful to them?

In other words, go by the users' needs, not a generalized rule.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"There's a bully in the alley: he'll do his worst,
There's a bully in the alley: he won't fear your curse,
There's a bully in the alley: get your boot in first,
That's what they tell us."
- Oyster Band, "Bully in the Alley"

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