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.