HOW TO INDEX USER MANUALS AND ON-LINE HELP

A 2-Day Training Seminar developed by Susan Holbert

Do you have the expertise to produce a top-quality index?

Most software users look at the index for the tasks they want to perform. Most untrained indexers list the features of the software program. This course is designed to help you develop a user-oriented perspective.

THE SEMINAR FEATURES

  • In-depth discussion of procedures and pitfalls
  • Specific, practical techniques
  • Lots of hands-on practice
  • An independent exercise with apprenticeship-type feedback
  • Advanced techniques created specifically for user manuals and on-line help
  • Small class size
  • Lively, relaxed atmosphere that facilitates learning
  • Extensive reference materials, including a fifty-page course book, developed by Susan Holbert, which covers all the seminar topics and includes original material not available elsewhere

PARTICIPANTS LEARN TO

  • Choose entries that the user will be thinking of
  • Provide multiple terms to reach a wide range of users
  • Add important terms that are not in the document
  • Edit and manage indexes
  • Create usable master indexes
  • Rewrite Help Topics to aid information retrieval
  • Create screen savvy keyword lists for searching Help Topics
  • Use indexing software effectively

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

  • Technical writers, editors, and managers
  • Freelance indexers
  • Those who have created some indexes without previous training
  • Any team that must work together on an indexing project

THE TWO-DAY FORMAT

A progression of in-class and independent exercises moves from basic principles to advanced techniques in a manner that builds confidence and develops indexing judgment.

  • Day One: basic indexing principles and advanced user-oriented indexing techniques.
  • Day Two: Independent exercise in classroom, home or office. Line-by-line feedback, much like a mini-apprenticeship. Indexing software.

COURSE TOPICS

  • Assessing the Audience
  • Managing Your Time
  • The Best Method of Indexing
  • What Should and Should Not Be Indexed
  • How Long Should the Index Be?
  • When Should Indexing Take Place?
  • How To Use Main Entries
  • How To Use Subentries
  • How To Use (and Avoid) Sub-Subentries
  • Best Use of Crossreferences
  • Best Use of Page References
  • Alphabetizing and Grammar
  • Master Indexes
  • Special Aids for Beginning and Experienced Users
  • Embedded Software Programs
  • Free-Standing Software Programs
  • Writing On-line Help with Information Retrieval in Mind
  • Creating and Editing On-line Keyword Lists

PARTICIPANTS' COMMENTS

  • The seminar was creatively done and a pleasure to attend
  • Excellent handouts, exercises, slides
  • Articulate, lively, intelligent, and responsive. Relaxed professional presentation
  • I thought I would be bored out of my mind. I am amazed by how interesting and challenging the instructor made it seem
  • Gave me a good sense of how to manage indexing in my department
  • Doing the exercise at home was particularly helpful. I was able to use what I had learned and to gain confidence
  • Incredibly cost- and time-effective, I'm psyched, Thanks. It was fun!

A FEW CONSULTATION AND TRAINING CLIENTS

ABOUT SUSAN HOLBERT

As a specialist in technical manuals and on-line help, Susan Holbert has developed a comprehensive set of techniques that go beyond traditional indexing practices to meet the special needs of documentation users.
More about Susan Holbert

COST FOR PUBLIC SEMINAR - $595 per participant ( Discounts available for multiple registrations and self-employed freelancers )

DATE: TBA

PLACE Waltham, MA.

ON-SITE TRAINING and OTHER SERVICES

On-site training is very economical for groups of six or more and gives everyone on the documentation team the same indexing perspective and vocabulary. Both one-day( $1950 ) and two-day( $2900 ) seminars are available.

Private seminars are sometimes hosted by local companies, allowing individuals and small groups in the Boston area to take advantage of corporate rates. Call Indexing Services if you’re interested in hosting or attending.

Indexing Services offers a full range of indexing and consultation services, specializing in financial, medical, business, engineering, and networking software, as well as all types of on-line keywording.

View a list of Books Indexed

If you would like more information about attending a 2-day advanced seminar or about how to arrange for on-site training in the Boston area, please call Susan Holbert TOLL FREE 1-877-408-7299 or send an e-mail to susan@theindexpros.com

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