Re: Creating indexes

Subject: Re: Creating indexes
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 12:22:09 -0800

At 01:49 PM 3/10/97 -0600, Nate Rush wrote:
>Can anyone recommend a good "how to" book or write-up for creating book
>indexes?
>
I can recommend these titles

The Art of Indexing (Wiley Technical Communication Library); Larry S.
Bonura; Hardcover; $24.26.

Science and Technical Writing : A Manual of Style (A Henry Holt Reference
Book); Philip Rubens; Paperback; $17.96. See Chapter 11.

Read Me First! : A Style Guide for the Computer Industry; Sun Technical
Publications (Editor); Paperback; $26.96. One of our group, Lori Latrop, had
this to say about the book:

"Naturally, I turned directly to Chapter 9, Indexing, and I'm delighted to say
that I was very impressed with what I found there. As the introduction to
Chapter 9 alludes, indexes enhance product usability. In addition to affecting
customers' perceptions of the product, indexes affect customers' perceptions of
the developer's credibility.

"Many surveys have shown that one of the biggest complaints end users of
technical manuals have is the inability to find the information they need. That
doesn't have to be the case. If technical writers apply the guidelines in this
Chapter, they will avoid some of the most common indexing pitfalls.

"Some of the best guidelines focus on strategies for developing concise,
specific
index entries and on techniques for enhancing the index by double-posting
entries, using meaningful cross-references, finding the right balance (not
over-indexing or under-indexing), and editing the index.

"All in all, I must say, the indexing guidelines in this style guide are much
better than the indexing guidelines I've seen in other books on developing
documentation for the computer industry."

--Wayne Douglass

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