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Final Course Project -- Review of CINDEX Indexing Software Rosanna M. Longenbaker ILS 531-S70: Indexing and Abstracting Spring 2013 Dr. Yan Quan Liu April 19, 2013

REVIEW OF CINDEX Final Course Project -- Review of CINDEX Indexing Software Description of CINDEX CINDEX is software produced by Indexing Research that is intended to aid indexers in creating indexes for books and other printed materials. It can also be used to create subject authority lists based on existing indexes (Indexing Research, n.d.). The user creates virtual

index cards for each term, subheading, and cross-reference to be included in an index. Each card or record must contain a Main subject, which can be one or more words and the page number where it is found (CINDEX, 1996-2012). The number of records is limited to 100 in the demonstration version. The number of levels of subheadings an index can have is set to four as a default, but after changing the settings as many as 15 levels of subheadings can be used (CINDEX, 1996-2012). When the user closes the record he or she is working on and wants to see a draft version (without formatting) or preview (displaying how the index will print), CINDEX automatically puts all terms in alphabetical order. The draft view button shows all records, even those marked as deleted in alphabetical order. The most recent draft of the index is displayed while the user is entering new records. The newly entered Main terms are added to the bottom of the list and a blue dot is displayed next to them to identify them as new (CINDEX, 1996-2012). There are several other dropdown menus and buttons that perform other functions. The font and size of the text can be changed using a dropdown menu on the main tool bar. If the user needs to invert the order of a main term and a subheading this can be done with a button at the top of the record window so that nothing needs to be retyped. There are also buttons that open a new blank record and copy the contents of a current record for use as the base of a new record. Additionally, the tool bar at the top of the record window also has navigation buttons allowing


the user to go to the next card or previous card. The font can also be reset to the default from the record window tool bar or the current changes can be discarded and the record reverted to its saved version (CINDEX, 1996-2012). Other tools that are available include a Labeled feature, which allows the user to color code entries with up to 7 different colors. The program will also check for errors in the index, if a cross-reference does not refer to a current Main term the user is notified. The program recognizes the word See and the words that follow must match a Main term somewhere in the index (CINDEX, 1996-2012). Statistics can be calculated for all of the records or only those that are labeled. Also, there is a spell checker (CINDEX, 1996-2012). The program enables a user to create abbreviations for use in auto-filling records. If the user is entering the same word repeatedly he or she will only have to type part of the word once this feature is set up. The program can also track who last worked with a record by identifying each user with a four-digit code (CINDEX, 1996-2012). Merits, Shortcomings and Differences Merits While I was reading the Users Guide, I noted several benefits that CINDEX provides for professional indexers. The most important benefit is that the screen displays an index in the same way that it will look when it is printed. Numbers and symbols appearing in entries are ignored or evaluated at your option. CINDEX automatically ignores any of a selected set of words (Usually leading prepositions), or any phrases that you mark for special handling (CINDEX, 1996-2012, p. 1-2). The program will also export indexes as a word processing document or in XML or SGML (CINDEX, 1996-2012).


CINDEX can embed index entries directly in word-processing documents (for example, those used by Microsoft Word), so that page numbers and index for-matting can be provided by the word-processor (CINDEX, 1996-2012, p. 2). CINDEX allows you to work on multiple indexes concurrently, so that, for exam-ple, you can prepare author and subject indexes together as you work through a book. You can instantly move from one index to the other as you make or mod-ify entries (CINDEX, 19962012 p. 4). This was helpful for me when I needed to redo my index after realizing that my original plan for assigning numbers to web pages was not going to work. I was able to reference my failed index in creating the new index so that I did not have to recreate all of my work. Shortcomings My first reaction to the CINDEX software is that it is not as intuitive as other programs that I have used. Usually, when I begin to teach myself a new piece of software I open the program and begin to play with it just to see how it might work and what it can be used for. When I opened CINDEX for the first time, I was presented with the main tool bar and nothing else. A new project does not open automatically and the user is not immediately presented with a list of recently used files or examples. I did not know where to begin so I immediately started reading the Users Manual. It was included with the demo version of the software. The manual was well written and very helpful. Another potential shortcoming is that this software is made specifically for books and print material. The Record box where you enter new material specifically says Page. However, since my index deals with websites, there are no page numbers. The user cannot cut and paste a URL into the page box. The limit to the number of characters in the record would make it difficult to list webpage titles. URLs can be entered in the final sub-heading box on a

REVIEW OF CINDEX record, but only as a note that will not be visible when the index is printed (CINDEX, 19962012). Differences

The main reason that I chose to review CINDEX was that it has a version that will run on a Mac computer without using Parallels, Boot Camp, or other software to enable the computer to run Windows. Macrex (2010) and SKY Index are both available only for computers running the Windows operating system. Also, I looked briefly at the HTML Indexer website. Its website was unclear as to whether or not it would run on a Macintosh computer. I was not comfortable downloading the HTML Indexer software because the only operating system it mentioned specifically was Windows 98. Also, the software version was listed as being from April 15, 2006 and the website has not be updated since 2010 (Brown Inc., 1998-2010). I did not wan to risk downloading software that appears to be out-of-date. Another difference between CINDEX and other indexing software is that according to the Indexing Research webpage CINDEX will work in languages other than English. Dictionaries for multiple languages are available for the spell checker (Indexing Research, n.d.). Suggestions for Improvements to CINDEX CINDEX would be much more versatile if the software was easier to use for creating indexes of formats that do not use page numbers. I am working around this perceived shortcoming by assigning numbers to represent each webpage that relates to a specific term. After the index has been opened in Word, I will have to replace the numbers with website titles. Perhaps the label on the field in the record window for the page could be changed to something other than Page. In the Users Guide it is referred to a locator. It was unclear that the subject heading for a cross-reference should be inserted there because a subject heading is


not a page number. HTML Indexer claimed that its product could index websites using anchors if they were input into the program or could index other sites as well (Brown Inc., 1998-2010).

REVIEW OF CINDEX References Brown Inc. (1998-2010). Introducing HTML Indexer. Retrieved from: CINDEX (3.0 for Mac Demo) [Release Notes, Users Guide, and Computer software]. (19962012). Retrieved from: Indexing Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Macrex Indexing Services. (2010, August 19). Macrex. Retrieved from: SKY Software. (2012, Dec 30). Whats New in SKY Professional v7.0. Retrieved from: