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.

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. . . .


After starting the morning with computer hassles, the day has improved!  Computer problem solved thanks to a good neighbor who is a real whiz with computers.

Then to further improve my day, I got confirmation that the author has finished the rewrite on the next edition of the motor disorders book that I’ve been waiting to start indexing. Perfect timing since I don’t teach medical terminology during the summer.

Meanwhile, learning the new software continues. I’m using the earlier edition of the motor disorders book to practice all the editing commands, and to build acronyms and auto-complete terms for this coming index, and for other neurology and neuroanatomy generally. I’m SO glad that I decided to make the switch before starting this particular project.

The more I work with this SKY Index (v.7), the more impressed I am with the many editing commands, especially for double posting,  and with the handling of cross-references (as in automatically making sure that I do them correctly right then).

It’s shaping up to be a good summer break!

software, learning curve for new….

SKY weblogoAfter a lot of thought, cogitation, and serious deliberation, I’ve done it–just installed SKY Index 7 (SI7).  Now I’m working my way through the accompanying manual to be sure that I can get the best out of SI7.

While I’m waiting for the final on the 3rd edition of a book on motor disorders, I’ve used the 2nd edition to make an index that I can use to practice all the built-in editing commands provided with the software.  The explanations of the editing commands in the manual are making it easy to use them–I just need to get them to be second nature.

Starting with the entry of lots of neurological and neuroanatomical terms, for headings and for multiple subheadings, the autocomplete is awesome.  Now that I’ve got a bunch of entries, I’m ready to “play” with the editing commands.  So far I’ve checked out the swap, shift left, shift right.  Now on to the combinations of duplicate and swap….