Re: Creating indexex - was Re: Building index files in Frame

Subject: Re: Creating indexex - was Re: Building index files in Frame
From: "David M. Brown" <dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com>
To: Techwr-L post <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 20:12:06 -0700

Bruce Byfield wrote:
>
> The quality of an index done with a concordance file depends on
> the entries in the concordance file. It takes time to produce a
> thorough list of keywords. In fct, a really useful list is
> usually easiest to generate as you write. I always keep a page in
> a notebook in which I jot down keywords while I'm editing. If I
> try to generate the keyword list in isolation, I simply forget
> many of the words that I need on it..

Concordances and keyword lists are completely different critters.

A concordance is simply a list of all the words that occur in a
document (minus any "stop words" if your software has that feature)
and the page numbers those words appear on. The "entries" are
simply the words that are in the text of the document.

A concordance might be useful in helping you *build* a keyword
list, which in turn is the seed of a good index.

>
> I find it best to use a keyword list in the same way as I use a
> spell-checker. That is, I use it to save time, but as a
> supplement, rather than as a replacement for my own efforts.
> Ultimately, in both indexing and editing, there's no replacement
> for personal effort. However, I can reduce my effort to some
> extent by using the keyword list. How much time I save is hard to
> guess, but it might be about 33% if I've generated a really
> useful keyword list.

It sounds like you're describing the preliminary work for building
an index, rather than a concordance. I wouldn't spend any time
"creating" a concordance--most word processors include an automatic
concordance feature, and there are myriad shareware products that
generate concordances.

No software can generate good keywords, though--as you say, there's
no replacement for personal (human) effort.

--David

=============================
David M. Brown - Brown Inc.
dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
=============================

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