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Thanks to Chuck Banks for posting info on the Intercom article, "Indexing
from the Desktop--One Writer's Method" along with Nancy Mulvany's
well-written response. I'm a member of STC and ASI (American Society of
Indexers), and I've developed and taught an Indexing Skills Workshop for
As Nancy said, the industry simply assumes that all writers are capable
of producing a professional index. Unfortunately, many writers have not
been trained in the art of indexing and, consequently, the indexes in many
manuals are not as usable as they should be.
In the ideal world, of course, the writer is the best person to create the
index. However, in the practical world, if the writer does not possess
professional indexing skills, a professional indexer should be contracted
to develop the index.
There are several professional indexers (myself included) who have
software development and technical writing backgrounds. We are listed in
The Register, an annual publication available from ASI.
By the way, if any of you are planning to attend the STC Region 7
conference in Seattle on November 12-13, I will be presenting a workshop
on Indexing Skills for technical writers.
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