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How To Create a Usable Index — Interview with John McGhie

Oct 20, 2006 • podcasts

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Duration: 36 min.

John McGhie, technical writer and Microsoft MVP from Sydney, Australia, explains how to create a usable index for your help material.

In this interview, John covers the following topics:

  • Deciding whether to create an index
  • Skills required to create an index
  • Steps in creating an index
  • Audience considerations in creating an index
  • Time required for creating an index
  • Pitfalls writers face when creating an index
  • Myths of the concordance file method for creating indexes
  • Strategies for entries and subentries
  • Methods for updating an index
  • Determining whether your index is usable

For additional information, see the following:

** To contact John, you can e-mail him at [email protected].

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.