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Indexing Advice For Everyone
Specific Actual Index Samples
Paid Service Information
Prefer searchable computer files to old fashioned indexes? We offer that service!

An index adds two valuable things to any research or reference book. The index makes the book easier to use and adds to its marketability. We offer indexing with our manuscript preparation, and for those customers who have prepared their own manuscripts.

Several methods and price variations are available for indexing, when we prepare the manuscript. Each manuscript varies in the amount of time required. We try to find the least expensive and acceptable index method for our customer needs. Almost everyone has their own idea what a complete index is.  We suggest at least a complete surname index for genealogical books.  Content and format is up to you!

Index Format Examples
Click here for printed examples.

Asbell, Ann 23, 98
    Thomas 1
    William 39
Barnes, Steven 100
Cavner, Abail 48

        

Asbell, Ann 23, 98; Thomas 1; William 30
Barnes, Steven 100
Cavner, Abail 48

        

Asbell, Ann, 23, 98
Asbell, Thomas, 1
Asbell, William, 39
Barnes, Steven, 100
Cavner, Abail, 48

        

Surname Example:

Asbell, 1, 23, 93, 98
Barnes, 100
Cavner, 48

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Specific suggestions while deciding index entry/item framework (green text are examples):

Sometimes, the choice of index format is governed by economics of a printed book.  We suggest that an index format is used that the author would like to see in a reference book they were using.  Regardless of one's ultimate choice of index format, it is sometimes tempting to disregard - even a completed index - to save the cost of printing the extra pages.  With the strong growth of personal computers in the home, a suggestion is placing that 50 pages (not uncommon for a large book) of index on CD to include in all book sales. One could publish it on the internet for public access - sometimes gaining sales this way.  Offer a print out upon request for a print out fee - this can be staple bound, 3-hole punched, etc.

Specific space saving suggestions - results vary depending on total format:

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Traditional indexing meets the word processing program:

These basic directions were written with Microsoft Word (.doc) in mind, but can be adapted to almost any word processing program or version.

Once the main text of the manuscript has been finalized, print it out. Sit down with the print out in front of a blank computer file. Read through page one and type anything from the page you'd like to include in the index (in index format), followed by a 1, then press enter/return, repeat this process until you're ready to do page two, repeat, etc. Remember, only one entry per line such as:

Silas, Mrs. 1
Tims, Frederick Martin [sic] 1
River, Grand 1
Silas, Mr. Fred 2
River, Spring 2
etc.

Once you have repeated the steps above for the entire manuscript, highlight the entire text within the file, choose the "table" pull down menu and "sort" from that pull down menu. In the dialog box that opens (pop up), be sure it is set to sort by paragraphs and the type is text, also it is ascending for an index - then click "OK". You can then go through the text to double check you don't have duplicate entries and produce your final format. Below are two format choices for the sample entries for pages 1 and 2 above:

River, Grand 1; Spring 2
Silas, Mr. Fred 2; Mrs. 1
Tims, Frederick Martin [sic] 1

River, Grand 1
River, Spring 2
Silas, Mr. Fred 2
Silas, Mrs. 1
Tims, Frederick Martin [sic] 1

Take the formatted index file and add it to your book text (match font, spacing, headers, etc.) before printing/publication:

River, Grand 1; Spring 2
Silas, Mr. Fred 2; Mrs. 1
Tims, Frederick Martin [sic] 1

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There are several different ways to highlight. If the full file text needs to be highlighted one suggestion is to start with the cursor at the top of the file. Next (on the keyboard) hold down the control and shift keys while you press the end button.

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Page Last Updated: May 06, 2016

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