RE: Page ranges in indexes: Do you use them?

Subject: RE: Page ranges in indexes: Do you use them?
From: Salan Sinclair <salansinclair -at- shaw -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 09:35:28 -0700

Thanks for all the responses to my question.

Many people support page ranges to help readers identify the major
discussion of a subject.
While I agree, I have the following subpoints:

1. What about topics that are 1.5 pages long?
In the documents I'm working on, most topics are just barely more than one
page long or they are one page long but happens to cross the page break.
Therefore, most of the index contains page ranges that are 1 page long.

2. What if you rarely have multiple locators?
As a reader, I loathe multiple locators. (For example, creating documents,
1, 4, 5, 6.) I use subentries extensively so that the user rarely has more
than one locator for an entry. Therefore, the reader can select the major
discussion of a topic by the wording of the entry.
According to the Nuts-and-Bolts Guide, if you break a main entry into
subentries, you don't provide a range for the main entry.
Of course, extensive subentries means that some main entries have as many as
20 subentries, which might be excessive.

I really appreciate the discussion. I want to do as good a job as possible
by focusing my energy on the priorities. But I need help identifying those
priorities. Maybe I'm spending so much time in the indexes because I'm
creating too many subentries. Maybe I should save time by paring them back.

Other points:

Technique: I check with the Framers list, and it appears that I am using the
most efficient technique. So tool technique does not seem to be the issue.

Timing: It's a good point that you may want to wait until after the book is
released to add the index, if the project does not allow time before
release. In this case, I'm doing in indexing as a contractor for a client,
so I have no influence on timing. Also, in many environments, management
will not support editing or indexing time. Therefore, any index is something
squeezed in by the writer as a service to the reader.

Single-sourcing: I have mostly single-sourced in the past, which is another
reason I haven't used ranges. I will inquire about whether this project is
actually single-sourced.

Thanks again for all your responses. They are much appreciated.


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