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> I've convinced my current client to invest in a decent index, but as I
> work on it, I find myself using full-text search to locate my own index
> entries to check their targets, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe my
> end users might not be inclined to do the same.
If your index entries simply replicate the text they're indexing, then your index adds no value.
One of the chief advantages of a well-crafted index over full-text search is that it can point people to the right topics using words that don't appear in those topics. As a trivial example, an index may point people to the Find command with entries for "search," "retrieve," or "locate."
Another value of an index is that it can filter out the chaff. A full-text search for "find" might turn up dozens or hundreds of instances. A well-crafted index can identify (perhaps with several well-chosen subentries) the small number of places where there is significant information, not just passing mention.
You'll have to decide if you want to create a truly "decent" index, which offers something more than the search function, or drop the project. But you're right -- an index that offers nothing beyond what search provides is pretty much a waste of time.
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
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