Re: Creating Indexes

Subject: Re: Creating Indexes
From: Karen Spern <kspern -at- BESTWEB -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 22:55:48 -0800


As a professional indexer, I think that using XTensions software would work
well in this case.

IMHO, indexing may be a time-consuming and mundane task, but it is ESSENTIAL
to technical documents.
I agree with the statement my colleage when she wrote

"> It sounds like you're looking for a tool that'll completely automate the
> task of indexing your documents. Well, I'm a former technical services
> librarian, and at the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy, I don't
> think totally automated indexing -- going through a document for every
> instance of specified words and phrases -- is ever going to be totally
> successful.. The reason is that the use of a given word or phrase doesn't
> always equate with a reference to a given subject."

Indexes are not concordances. A concordance is list of words that appear in
the document.

Simply put, an index is a *additional* document that includes main headings
(often the original vocabulary from the text), cross references, locators,
and sub-headings. More important than the mechanics of indexing, indexers
keep the user in mind and insert additional, related terms that lead the
reader to the pertinent information. No automatic indexing software can
replicate that.

Karen Spern
kspern -at- bestweb -dot- net

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