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

Subject: RE: Page ranges in indexes: Do you use them?
From: Jason Willebeek-LeMair <jlemair -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 11:01:49 -0500

Sorry for the late response--I am a month behind in my reading. So I
apologize in advance if this contrarian reply has already been given.

I do not like page ranges in indexes because I think that, at least in
technical documentation, they are a crutch for poor organization. How's
that for flame bait? Let me explain before you toast me....

With the proper use of headings, index ranges become redundant. If you have
a range in your index, it may indicate that you need to plop a heading in
front of that chunk of info (if it appears in a long string of paragraphs.
Or, if it has a heading, then simply point to the heading. The reader will
probably figure out that the index entry refers to a bit more than just the
text in the heading (at least I hope so). With the proper use of signposts,
headings, and chunking, index ranges become superfluous.

Here comes the fun part. What about an XML or SGML authoring environment
where you do not know where the components parts of your doc may be reused?
Someone may snag a chunk of info that has the start of your range and add it
to another document, then put the end of your range in a completely
different location, with the intermediary text having nothing to do with
topic itself.


-----Original Message-----
From: Salan Sinclair [mailto:salansinclair -at- shaw -dot- ca]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 1:28 PM
Subject: Page ranges in indexes: Do you use them?

Do you use page ranges in indexes?

I have indexed for several years in Word, but have never bothered with page

I realized indexing should have page ranges.

I am now using Frame and doing page ranges in Frame seems very laborious,
even with the IXGen indexing plug-in. It doubles or triples the effort,
because the entries are so hard to review.

I wonder how many other people choose do to an index without page ranges.
I'd rather see a good index without ranges than a poor index with them or no
index at all.

Salan Sinclair
Principal, WordClarity Document Solutions
t.604.709.8658 c.604.839.6208 f.604.709.8651 I

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