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.

Adobe CC 2014 issues, too!

IMG_20150623_073342079_HDRI’d posted just a few days ago that I had issues with CC-2015. After Adobe tech support “regressed” me to 2014 which did export .indd files from unindexed documents to .idml, I went back to work.

Unfortunately when I sent the index file for the microbiology chapter, the compositor was unable to open it–even though it appeared as .idml. So back to the drawing board–redo the microbiology index.

I’ve further regressed to Adobe CS6, and am sending a partially indexed file for test. (I should say that the compositor and I did do test files with me converting from .indd from CC-2015 to .idml. That worked fine–until the index was added.

I’d love to hear from others indexing in InDesign if they have had any similar issues. Some how a “known issue” doesn’t seem to be at all well known at least in all the knowledge-base reading that I did.

cat on computer

I have to say that the editor and I had a good laugh about the whole issue this morning. I’m going to have to cram in some extra work time, but it’s not going to be calling for all-nighters to finish the project–unless there are other “known” issues, but I’ll not be converting or back-saving files.

Adobe CC 2015 file issue with index

I’ve just spent hours on the phone with Adobe tech support! As tech support sessions go it was good–the support person did not make me redo all the things I’d done before to try to find out why documents indexed in CC 2015 will not export or save as .idml files for backward compatibility with CS6.

The solution to trying to recover the documents that I’ve indexed in CC 2015 is to move the pages to a new document (I know only what the tech support person says), and then save as .idml. I’m hoping that tech support managed to salvaged some of the work I’ve done.

I’m incredibly frustrated that I’m told this is a know issue, but there’s no way to find out about it until you’ve spend time with tech support.


Laurus nobilis/sweet bay and turmericAfter finishing the index for the European Fundamentals of Regulatory Affairs, I’ve had a hiatus–though two small projects did not materialize–but I’ve used the time to (try to) tidy up the office, write about kohlrabi, and continue playing with TExtract, enjoying fall (though there have been a lot of damp, grey days that make it good to be indoors).

Since the weather has finally gotten cooler, my office is now home to my sweet bay (Laurus noblis) and the turmeric (Curcuma longa) plants. Frankie has not yet decided that they are munchies provided just for him.  The culinary ginger  (Zingiber officinale) has to take its chances on the deck since it’s much too large to bring inside.

young kohlrabi plantSince kohlrabi is a cool weather crop, I’ve planted some on my deck, even though it is probably late in the season for that. This is the first year I’ve seen it available in the garden stores that I usually haunt, so that’s inspiring. I’m continuing to search for recipes for this under-appreciated vegetable.

While searching for recipes, I found a book entitled Cream of Kohlrabi. To my surprise that is not a cookbook. The author is Floyd Skloot, novelist, poet, and memoirist. This is a collection of short stories–and I’m reading with bated breath to find the origin of the title. I’m sure it will be obvious–since kohlrabi is not a common vegetable. More to follow on kohlrabi–growing, eating, and the ongoing search for recipes.

…and more on TExtract to follow, as well.



TExtract, continued

Despite insomnia last night which gave me a late start this morning, I started working with TExtract again this morning and now I’m wondering why I’m tired. I’ve  used it on different document types. Some very cut and dried with well-outlined sections, but littered with acronyms, numbers;  another was that more prose like, but dealing with similar material.  These are books for which I’ve written indexes, so I’m getting a  feel for what the software picks up.  (You don’t need to worry about it replacing you as an indexer.) I’ve also looked at how TExtract handled a book on genetics/inheritance that was written for a very broad audience–essentially a technical trade book–concept-oriented, but with lots of the jargon–er, specialized terminology–associated with inheritance and genetics.

Some things I could do with Adobe Acrobat Pro with functions like proximity search–and I should say here and now that I’m not about to give up by Creative Cloud subscription, but it would take me a lot longer to do the searching than it does TExtract. and results would not be presented in need tabular form of “co-occurrence” of terms that I was able to buzz through  writing sub-entries quickly. This also is NOT going to replace SKY& for me either since there will be “tidy-up” editing to be done.Frankie orange tabby on lap with head in the way of the monitor

Next, I am going to try TExtract on something much more prose-like–a manuscript on Karezza and/or maybe organizational change/development–a collection of papers that is really almost a scholarly work.

Other things I want to look at will be importing the TExtract files into SKY7 and see how editing goes from there.  Given the editing power of SKY7 this should be interesting. TExtract is not cheap if you purchase a permanent license, so I want to give it a good trial, maybe even trying some heavy-duty neurology/neuroanatomy to see what comes out.

But that’s not for today. My break-time “software” is telling me my workday is over!

TExtract play day

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.

from 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. . . .