Portland ME: restaurants

Not that I’m more interested in food than in the presentations for the ASI conference in Portland ME, but that’s important, too. I found this article in Bon Apetit on where to eat in Portland ME and thought I’d share it. I do intend to eat some lobster and oysters while I’m there!  Links included in the article; however, Scales Restaurant  is mentioned no link is given. Thanks to Google, you can check that one out here


SKY Index Pro 8.0–trial run.

I just finished a pro bono index (a cookbook) using the public preview of SKY Index Pro 8.0 (and downloaded the update that was issued today). As a happy user of SKY Index Pro 7, I’d say that awesome software just got even more awesome. If you are a SKY 7 user, the transition is easy–stuff is where you’ed expect it to be–none of the Windows where-did-they-put-it-this-time hassles. All the keyboard shortcuts that I learned for SKY 7 work as expected.

There are a couple new things that I already like especially well–even though some are not really “big” things:

  • When you shift to a different active window, the data entry grid greys so you can tell easily at a glance which window is active–especially great when you are Alt-tabbing to get back to your data entry grid. This may not be a “big” thing for some, but it is something I really appreciate. This definitely lets you know which window you’re in and saves inadvertently deleting something when you thought you’d shifted windows, but really hadn’t–yes, been there, done that!
  • the new Index Pane–was the Preview Pane–and this is a “big” thing: right beside the data entry grid is wonderful. (I was slow to use the Edit View in SKY 7 for some silly reason–but once I got used to it, I love it. Now it’s even better with it right there on the screen all the time–especially for editing cross-references. I haven’t done much search/browse in the Index Pane yet, but I’m sure I will in other indexing work.I used it more often than had I needed to switch views from data entry to edit view.
  • the Find/Group function (which I use an incredible number of times during work) is faster!
  • Automatic backup with some new features! Yes, yes, thank you!
  • I do like having configuration options and the like open in a pane rather than in dialog boxes seems to eliminate a lot of clicks and keystrokes.

There are features that this particular index didn’t demand that I try out–like the Invert Name, and the Collapse Heading. I’ve been a big fan of the Swap Acronym, create reciprocal cross-reference, and other utilities ever since I started using SKY–and they are all still there.

The message system (now at the bottom of the window) has some customizable features, too. I’m always happy to have SKY tell me when I’ve done something stupid–and let me have it fixed automatically–or tell me to fix it.

Even though I didn’t need it, I left the messages relating to how to use data grid, etc. turned on to see what showed up–I think that would be a huge help to someone learning SKY for the first time. If you’re exploring, then do take the time to watch the tutorial videos. They are explicit, clear, and very helpful.


SKY Index Professional 8.0

I’ve just had an email via the SKY users group on Google Groups that the public preview of SKY 8.0 is available although the “for sale” version will not be available until after the preview ends in April.

I’ll definitely be up-grading from SKY 7 to SKY 8.0. This would be a great opportunity to try this indexing software if you are not familiar with it.

From Potomac Indexing Blog

From Joanne Sprott on the Potomac Indexing Blog here a great article on “Name Dropping in the Index” that I found helpful in dealing with names in some indexes–particularly in academic publications where “vanity”  inclusion is an issue–where the number of times an author is cited is important.

Good information for authors and for indexers.


Webinar on WordPress Websites

Since we all probably do have websites, I’m sure this will be huge benefit for a very modest financial investment.

Creating and Securing Your WordPress Website for Marketing Success

with Joanne Sprott and Rich Hamilton

February 22, 2017

10 am Pacific; 11 am Mtn; 12 pm Central; 1 pm Eastern

Rich Hamilton (longtime WordPress coder and the tech whiz behind ASI’s website) and Joanne Sprott (longtime indexer, editor, and tech-savvy user of WordPress for her own sites) are teaming up to provide indexers with a guide to online visibility for their freelance businesses through the WordPress content management system.


  • Learn how to create your own website using user-friendly WordPress
  • Determine the best content to include on your website
  • Discern how to choose a theme and add widgets that make it easier for you
  • Create content that pulls in prospective clients and presents your indexing services and portfolio using WordPress features
  • Build security measures into your website to prevent hackers from breaking into your site
  • Discover how WordPress makes it possible for you to manage your own website
  • Find out the two things that you must have on your website

The webinar is just $19 for members, and you will have long-term access to the replay following the event. After February 22, purchase the replay for $29.  Nonmembers $59.00; Replay $69.00




A break is…

There are breaks, and there are breaks–not all breaks are equivalent. There are times when a “head” break is needed–away from the index, away from the computer, and sometimes even away from the cat. Then there are the breaks that are for RSI prevention. Those are distinctly different from “head” breaks!

Sometimes I hate my WorkPace break software–I’m in the “zone” and I truly don’t want to be interrupted, but needs must. I’ve gotten just a bit too far into working so that my pace of work has triggered the software to hop up and make me take a break for the sake of not finishing my day with aching wrists, tingling and burning fingers which will keep me awake at night. I did use the word “make” advisedly because the software (not the cat here) will literally force me to take the break by locking the computer mouse and keyboard. Locked out for 10 minutes out of every two hours–and I don’t want to quit work and do something else even for ten minutes.

Most of my working time I don’t hate WorkPace because it’s adaptable and unobtrusive as long as my keying speed isn’t excessive; most of the time during writing an index it’s not. WorkPace doesn’t have to lock the computer and make me go away. Most of the time the software doesn’t even have to make me take the micro-pause kind of breaks either. But

Cat grooming on keyboard of laptop
The other break-time software

there are times when I do need those and the “major” breaks to avoid overuse effects.


I’ve finally found a solution to this enforced break-taking when it occurs. Those ten-minute periods are reserved for doing something mindless so my brain can keep thinking about indexing without intrusions or interruptions–I don’t get out of the “zone”. Mindless tasks include lots of things that I really don’t like doing anyway (probably just because they are rather mindless), but those are good in short intervals: dusting, vacuuming, general tidying, sorting laundry, and the like. Ten minutes is about all I can tolerate at one time. (Did I mention that I’m NOT a fan of housework?)

It turns out that this is really a win-win situation for me. I don’t think that the WorkPace designers had in mind that it would be used to actively encourage housework but it is amazing how much housework you can accomplish in a few ten-minute breaks. I’ve done something worthwhile without really interrupting my thinking process so I’m ready to go back to work without having to make a shift in my mindset. True, the Swiffer duster is always prominently displayed so that I can pick it up without even having to go looking for it–but then I did say “mindless” didn’t I?

Ginger tabby (large) lying on my laptop keyboard.