Indexing interface elements

Subject: Indexing interface elements
From: johanne -dot- cadorette -at- locusdialog -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 12:15:31

I'm looking for some general feedback here...

When indexing interface elements in manuals (administration or installation
guides), we currently format entries in bold, and include only the actual
name of the element in the entry. For example, the index entry for the
configuration setting Default PIN looks like this:
<B>Default PIN

I'm wondering, however, if it would be better to specify what the element
is. Is it a checkbox, setting, tab, window or even a report? This wasn't
really an issue in the past because not that many interface elements were
indexed, but as our product matures and new features are introduced or old
ones change names, we're finding it necessary to include more of them in
the index. Since there will be more interface elements in the index, we're
wondering whether it makes since to include the type of element in the
entry, so it would like this:

<B>Default PIN</B> configuration setting


<B>Can be used as template</B> checkbox

This would also accomodate readers who are staring at a new element on the
interface and quickly want to know what it does without knowing the heading
under which it would appear in the index (or so we think. Since I'm looking
for feedback here, feel free to tell me otherwise).

What do you think of this? Should "configuration setting" appear at all,
and if so in brackets?

We use CMS for our index currently, but it isn't really geared to tech.

What do you think?

Johanne Cadorette

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