Subject: indexes
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 12:26:51 EST

Mike Pope asks:
"Ok, soapbox stepped off from, would you need the index if everything were
strictly alphabetical? Or maybe need it less, should I ask? The only time I
imagine an index to be very handy in an alpha reference is if there are lots
of keyword values <snip>"

The first WordPerfect book I had was a strictly alphabetical listing of
WordPerfect's features -- by the name of the feature. Well and good, but
what if I don't call that feature by that name? Things like the table for
ASCII characters and the codes you needed to type to access them were present
under their Wordperfect name -- Special Characters. If there had been no
index with both the WP term and alternates, I never would have found what I
was looking for. Or in the Ventura 3.0 book -- I looked up thumb tabs under
eveything I could think of. Finally found them by accident looking up
information on repeating frames - because, although the text mentioned that
you could use repeating frames for thumb tabs it had not been indexed. Even
if the manual had been strictly alphabetical, the information I needed would
have been listed under its function name, not under possible uses.

So I maintain that you need to make index decisions based more on the size of
the book, rather than the organization.

Just my $0.02!

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
President, SDSTC
BonniG -at- aol -dot- com

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