Any resources specific to creating/publishing indexes for software help systems?

Subject: Any resources specific to creating/publishing indexes for software help systems?
From: <Geoff -dot- Mann -at- thomsonreuters -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 10:46:41 -0400

Hi, folks.

I've found several worthy resources describing general best practices
for indexing in a variety of arenas, but none that specifically
addresses developing indexes for publishing in software help systems
(WebHelp or WinHelp). I'm already aware of commonly accepted indexing
guidelines and principles, so I'm primarily interested to know what sort
of unique considerations and best practices exist for developing indexes
with functionally limited, embedded indexing features in help authoring
tools like RoboHelp.

A couple examples of what I'd like to read about: (1) In what situations
is it better to link to multiple topics from a single index entry
(resulting in a Topics Found dialog, assuming it's not buggy in RH v.7
like it was in X5) versus adding additional subentries with one topic
linked to each entry? (2) When does/doesn't the 5-7 maximum locator rule
apply to lists of subentries or topics found? (3) What special
considerations exist regarding balanced coverage of content when the
content exists in a non-linear format?

I realize there may be some common ground in electronic and web
indexing, even information architecture, but I hope to avoid having to
wade through masses of irrelevant info in hope of finding a few meager

FWIW, my colleagues and I are already well on our way to drafting
internal guidelines and best practices specific to our environment, but
I'm still interested in comparing notes.


Geoff Mann
Senior Technical Writer

Professional Software & Services

Thomson Reuters

Phone: 800-607-5100 x3736

geoff -dot- mann -at- thomsonreuters -dot- com |

Any views, opinions, and judgments expressed in this message are solely
those of the author. The message content has not been reviewed or
approved by Thomson Reuters or its affiliates.


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