Appropriate content for index

Subject: Appropriate content for index
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 19:18:44 -0800

Hello all,
I've just started a new contract and run into a bit of a puzzle. I am
creating a user/training guide for a new module in a suite of software.
One other module has already been documented. In the existing guide, the
writer indexed what I would call "meta data" about the guide itself,
including listing entries such as:

"bold text" (a doc convention)
"getting started" (a doc section)
"user guide conventions" (a doc section)

All the training and experience I've had on creating indexes says that
the index should *not* be a recreation of the TOC, and including this
meta data looks to me like it borders on that. I've certainly never
included this sort of thing in my own indexes before. To make it a bit
more complicated, there are functions that use some of the same
terminology as a document, including a "TOC," and I had to look at the
content to determine what was application-specific and what was

Has anyone else seen this sort of thing before? Is this one of those
gray areas where you define a standard and stick to it? Or should I just
avoid including document information in the index?


Lisa Wright
LiWright -at- earthlink -dot- net

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