Ranges in index entries?

Subject: Ranges in index entries?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 12:13:06 -0500

Matthew Horn wonders: <<Does anyone use page ranges in their index entries?
Instead of an entry like: - servlet mappings 10,18,103 you would have an
entry like: - servlet mappings 10-12, 18, 103 I know ranges are much more
helpful for the user when scanning an index, but... they are too difficult
to implement because they would get broken all the time.>>

I use them precisely because of what you mentioned: they clearly tell
readers whether a topic is discussed in some depth (over a range of pages)
or is only mentioned briefly (a single page reference). The problem of
broken references depends on the technology you're using. In PageMaker, for
example, you can insert an index tag that says "this tag applies to all
pages from the current cursor position to the next Level 1 heading"; that
way, the page range remains valid no matter how much the topic shrinks or
grows.

Most software should let you accomplish a similar goal; if I'm remembering
correctly, Word does it by letting you select the start and end points of
the range you want to define when you apply an index tag, and Frame must let
you do something similar, though I don't use it and can't say how. The trick
is to do a bit of research into your software and find out how it handles
these details.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
FERIC, 580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Quebec
H9R 3J9
"Writing, in a way, is listening to the others' language and reading with
the others' eyes."--Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman native other

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