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How To Create a Usable Index — Interview with John McGhie

Oct 20, 2006 • podcasts

Download MP3 File
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 john@mcghie.name.



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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.