It seems that indexing is a major topic but I've searched, and read, and not found the answer to my problem so I'm hoping someone can help me out.
This is a 300+ page book, a biography, and needs a simple index. I thought this wouldn't be a problem using the InDesign indexing feature. But problems have arisen. The author will refer to someone by their full same in the first instance and by the first name only thereafter, sensibly. So I have "I met John Smith..." and every reference to him after that is simply to "John". Is there a way for the indexing system to deal with this?
And is there a way to deal with people who aren't referred to by name? For example, I would like "mother" to be in the index as her name, "Jane Doe" for example, but the author refers to her as "mother", "mum" or "the old lady". I have a person who is sometimes referred to by his full name, sometimes as "Ken" and sometimes as "Kenneth".
I have two people in the book with exactly the same name. I have several instance of people with the same first name.
The only way I can see of doing this is going through the entire document and changing every instance of "mother", "mum" and "the old lady" to "Jane Doe", generating an index and then changing the names back. Then changing every instance of "John" to "John Smith" ditto. And so on and so on and so on....
Please tell me there's an easier way!