Software tools For Indexing
The software tools used to generate indexes come in many flavors and varieties. Which technique is used depends on variables such as budget, eventual re-usability of the source material, time constraints, media used to publish the material, file sizes and transferral issues, and individual preferences. There are essentially six different methodologies for indexing:
Standalone or Dedicated tools, usually used for back-of-the-book indexes, allow indexers to work from page-numbered galleys. The indexing is completely separate from the published material. Dedicated indexing tools are listed below.
Embedded indexing is the process of creating index entries electronically in a document’s files. The indexer inserts the index entries as invisible text in the electronic files. Although desktop publishing packages are not the best tools for indexing, they can be used to create effective embedded indexes. For technical documents that will be updated frequently or will go online, indexers can create embedded indexes that will help their audience find information quickly and efficiently. Some tools that allow for embedded indexing include FrameMaker, Microsoft Word, Adobe PageMaker, and Quark Xpress. Markup languages that allow for embedding indexing include SGML, HTML, XML and TeX/LaTeX.
Tagging allow indexing codes to be embedded in the electronic text after the indexing is complete. The indexer inserts numbered dummy tags in the files, and then builds the index separately. The final step uses macros to insert the indexing at each tag in the files. Many of these tools are developed in-house to fit the publishing group’s needs..
Keywording is used primarily in online help materials. It can be hard-coded jumps, similar to WWW links, or it can be inserted as embedded coding and built into a list by the software..
Automated indexing software, a tool that now accompanies most word-processing software, build a concordance or a word list, from processed files. Although the manufacturers often claim these packages build indexes, the actual results are a list of words and phrases, sometimes useful in the beginning stages of building an index. Usability tests of these packages have shown that the word lists omit many key ideas and phrases, and cannot fine-tune terminology for easy retrieval, or build the needed hierarchies of ideas that professional indexing can.
Free-text and weighted-text searching tools are not discussed in these pages, but are aspects of information retrieval that indexers are very interested in.
This list of dedicated software geared toward the needs of professional indexers is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all tools that indexers may use in the course of their work.
100 Allens Creek Rd.
Rochester, New York 14618
Tel: (716) 461-5530
Fax: (716) 442-3924
Comparative review by Michael Wyatt
Publishers and government agencies may contact the authorized reseller of CINDEX:
Leverage Technologies, Inc.
9519 Greystone Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44141-2939
114 Lariat Court
Stephens City, VA 22655
Tel: (800) 776-0137 or (540) 869-6581
Fax: (540) 869-6581
Comparative review by Michael Wyatt
TExtract allows you to make a basic back-of-the-book index for the printed edition of a publication by dragging-and-dropping a PDF version of your document. Next, you select, add and edit index terms and references in context, by means of dedicated navigation and editing facilities. Then, you format and export the index for inclusion in your document.
wINDEX (for DOS)
Embedded indexing involves the addition of special codes to electronic documents so that an index can be generated automatically when the document is processed.
is a program that makes it possible to do automatic (*not* automated) embedded indexing in Microsoft Word:
The program has a 45-day free trial and addresses many concerns related to embedded indexing. Contact is Jack M. Lyon.
While dedicated indexing programs can be used in indexing web sites, this program is specifically designed to aid indexers working with web sites and other HTML documents.
TimeKeep for Windows
is a utility program intended for professional indexers. The current version of Timekeep for Windows includes time estimation, a database of indexes you have written, a choice of rates and billing procedures, and a display of average times and costs. Contact Charles Anderson on www.the-indexer.com/timekeep.htm
Easy Index from easy HTools goes through a collection of .HTML and other files collecting the titles and filenames. It makes an alphabetical list of these. It then allows the user to edit the items in the list, move them up and down and organise them into a hierarchical tree structure. It produces an HTML or Compiled HTML source file based on the list or tree structure in which the items appear as hyperlinks to the original files. It could be used it to produce an index provided the information was in file-sized ‘chunks’.