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Software Tools

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.

Dedicated Indexing Software

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.

Authex Plus (for periodical indexing; Windows and DOS)

Reference Press
PO Box 70
Teeswater, ON Canada N0G 2S0
Tel: (716) 461-5530
Fax: (519) 392-6634
Email: refpress@wcl.on.ca
URL: http://www.libris.ca/refpress/an.htm

CINDEX TM (for Windows, and Macintosh)

Indexing Research
100 Allens Creek Rd.
Box 18609
Rochester, New York 14618
Tel: (716) 461-5530
Fax: (716) 442-3924
Email: info@indexres.com
URL: http://www.indexres.com
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
Tel: (888)-838-1203
Fax: (440)-838-1203
Email: info@LevTechInc.com
URL: http://www.LevTechInc.com

Macrex TM (for Windows and DOS)

Wise Bytes  — Macrex Support Office, North America
P.O. Box 3051
Daly City, CA 95015-0051
Tel: (877) INDEX-01 (877-463-3901)
Fax: (650) 292-2302
Email: macrex@wisebytes.biz
URL: http://www.macrex.com

SKY Index TM Professional (for Windows)

SKY Software
114 Lariat Court
Stephens City, VA 22655
Tel: (800) 776-0137 or (540) 869-6581
Fax: (540) 869-6581
Email: sales@sky-software.com
URL: http://www.sky-software.com
Comparative review by Michael Wyatt

TExtract

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.

Texyz Indexing Software
Houtrakgracht 360
3544 SG Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-30-6700318
Email: info@textract.com
Web: http://www.texyz.com/textract

wINDEX (for DOS)

Susan Holbert Indexing Services
24 Harris Street
Waltham, MA 02452-6105
Tel: (Toll-free) (877) 408-7299
Fax: (707)-248-1342
Email: susan.h@rcn.com 
URL: http://www.abbington.com/holbert/windex.html

Embedded Indexing

Embedded indexing involves the addition of special codes to electronic documents so that an index can be generated automatically when the document is processed.

DEXter

is a program that makes it possible to do automatic (*not* automated) embedded indexing in Microsoft Word:

http://www.editorium.com/dexter.htm

The program has a 45-day free trial and addresses many concerns related to embedded indexing. Contact is Jack M. Lyon.

Web Indexing

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.

HTML Indexer TM (for Windows)

David M. Brown
Brown Inc.
Portland, OR
E-Mail: info@html-indexer.com
URL: http://www.html-indexer.com/

Utilities and Add-ons

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

 

emDEX (for FrameMaker)

P.O. Box 41117 Rockwood Post Office
4141 Dixie Road
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5C9
Canada
Email: info@emdex.ca
URL: http://www.emdex.ca

HTML/Prep

Leverage Technologies, Inc.
9519 Greystone Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44141-2939
Tel: (888)-838-1203
Fax: (440)-838-1203
Email: info@LevTechInc.com
URL: http://LevTechInc.com

IndexCheck (for CINDEX)
Leverage Technologies, Inc.
9519 Greystone Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44141-2939
Tel: (888)-838-1203
Fax: (440)-838-1203
Email: info@LevTechInc.com
URL: http://www.LevTechInc.com

IXgen (for FrameMaker)

Frank Stearns Associates
17201 SE 38th Circle
Vancouver, WA 98683
franks@fsatools.com
Tel: (800) 567-6421
Tel: Outside USA: 360/892-3970
Fax: 360/253-1498
URL: http://www.fsatools.com

Easy Index

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’.

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