3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2010 9:19 AM by ermphd

    Index wizard. Is it worth it?



      RH 8x generating a CHM


      I am about to manually index my moderately large help system. Sadly, I find the exercise completely mind-numbing and I'm looking for a way out.


      I am loathe to use the Index wizard because in the past I believe there was no going back once you had run the wizard. That is, index entries generated through the wizard stayed unless they were manually deleted. I'm also unsure what the results will be.


      So, can anyone sell me on the benefits of the wizard these days? In brief, how does it work? I understand excluding words, but how does Senor Wizard work otherwise?


      Thanks very much.

        • 1. Re: Index wizard. Is it worth it?
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Whoa there! You are looking for an "easy way out" with indexing? With indexing there is rarely a grey area. You either have a good index or a bad one and believe you me it is well worth the time and effort of having a good one. I know indexes are not used as much as they once were but they are still widely used. As for the Index Wizard use it if you:


          • Want a really bad index.
          • Spend time correcting what the wizard finds.


          My personal opinion is that manual indexing is the only way to go. Yes it takes time and yes it can be mind numbingly boring (although personally I don't find it so) but it is worth it in the end. People write books on how to index so the easy way is rarely the best way. We always factor in time for indexing into any help project.


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          • 2. Re: Index wizard. Is it worth it?
            TheCellBee Level 1

            Thanks for your insight. I have begun the task of cleaning up the content created through the index wizard. I think it was more expedient (and less of a brain drain) than creating it manually. I much prefer the writing to the indexing but do understand the relative importance of a good index.

            • 3. Re: Index wizard. Is it worth it?

              Hi Indexer Cellbee, lol

              I started with the Wizard and found it a little easier to manage if I "smart indexed" one topic at a time. We only had about 200 topics with 150 that needed indexing so this approach might not work for you.


              One other advantage of indexing topic by topic is that one can tweak the exclusion lists as you go based on the feedback from the last topic. That seemed to reduce the cleanup as I went through the system.

              See attached screen shot for path to "smart index topic"

              Hope that helps.