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Old 06-06-2011, 07:17 PM   #1
Elfwreck
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Advice about index

I'm converting a public-domain book that has a fairly extensive index, and trying to decide whether to bother including it. I'm done with proofing the auto-OCR and have done basic formatting but haven't decided on any details. Converted the Notes sections to endnotes but left them in the main text too because I haven't figured out how best to deal with them.

For the index:
On the "don't bother" side: many ebook readers have a search function, which is faster & more efficient than an index.

On the "yes, do this" side: search function doesn't give you a list of relevant terms or tell you how common they are.

On the "PITA" side: I'd have to (1) do extensive number proofreading (ick) and (2) create HTML anchors manually for each spot mentioned in the index (ick ick), possibly twice (once for epub, once for mobi?), and do separate page-number calculations if I wanted to make (6" reader sized) PDFs. Ick ick ick.

The book, if it matters, is James Conant's "The Child The Parent And The State," about the future of public education (in 1960).

Anyone have a nice script that creates a linked index for ePubs?
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:56 AM   #2
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I would probably not bother. But some ideas in case you want the index:

- You could just list the terms, without adding hyperlinks.
- In an ebook, you don't need page numbers in the index (but links to the exact location in the text would be nice)
- Maybe the easiest is to add invisible anchors in the text, matching the printed book pages, and just add links to these approximate locations to the index
- If you want page numbers for the PDF, programs like LaTeX or prince can automatically generate them from the links.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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I think I'll at least list the terms. Maybe list the chapters they're in rather than page #'s, although that's still a lot of hassle for data that might not be useful to anyone.

I don't want to create all those links, especially the vague ones, where the topic is discussed but the actual word may be after three paragraphs of discussion; I think I'd be willing to if I thought there was real demand. (If there was real demand for this book, someone would've converted it before now.) If I were to create all those links (twitch), I'm not sure how to list them in the index without page #'s.

Sample index listing:
High school student body: diversity in, 19; percentage in small high school, 36, 37, 38; ability range, 65-66, 67-68, 190-191; size and composition, 84-85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 102, 172-173, 198-199; and overage pupils, 92; in New York continuation schools, 97; percentages studying various subjects, 172

If I remove the page #'s, and I've got nothing to attach to a link. Hmm. It's got a bit more than 300 entries, although most of them are considerably shorter & some have only one page listed.

I might leave in the whole thing as-is, and note at the beginning that the page #'s applied to the original paper book.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I might leave in the whole thing as-is, and note at the beginning that the page #'s applied to the original paper book.
If you do that, you could add a pseudo-toc, listing the page where each chapter begins in the paper book, making it a bit easier to correlate the two versions.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #5
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Surely there is a quick, clever way of doing this. Some conversion houses are doing it and I would assume they are not doing it manually.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:41 AM   #6
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Come on, who bothers with an index?
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