What does an indexer do over a break from writing indexes?
I’ve been fortunate to have a hiatus in indexing. My schedule that I thought was reasonable turned into something very hectic and almost heroic. I’ve more incoming, but I’ve used the time between work to research kohlrabi, to hive and tend the bees, write, and today to play with software.
After the excellent ASI webinar by Connie Binder on using Adobe products from the free Reader to the Pro version of Acrobat (which I cannot imagine being without), I thought about how much I use the search/find functions on it. Thinking about using the proximity search lead me to thinking about the presentations that I’ve heard Harry Begos do at the ASI conventions on his software–TExtract.
(The Someecards is from the Goodreads FB page. Just had to share this.)
I browsed the TExtract site and found a 30-day trial license that is functional, but only shows page numbers through H entries. I thought that I’d take the manuscripts from books that i have indexed, run them through TExtract and see what came out–a sort of controlled experiment. My trial runs were done on a broad-audience book on inheritance and genetics that was filled with disease names, gene and protein designations, and names. My second choice was a 500+-page book on US regulations for drugs (prescription and generic), medical devices, veterinary drugs, dietary supplements, and foods to mention a few topics.
When I ran the first book (about 250 pages) I had not really worked out all the parameters that I needed to set–so I think, after more exploration, I try that one again. I wasn’t exactly dissatisfied, but I wasn’t thrilled, either.
The US drug regulation book, given that I was better versed in setting parameters, looks to be a different matter. I’m about half way through the term selection from the TExtract run. I got a little squirrely and decided that I would work on this some more over the next few days. But as I’m going through so far, it looks as if it has done a very good job. Once I finish the selection in TExtract, I will be comparing it with the index that I wrote for this book.
More to come. . . .