indexing

While waiting for the archival storage materials to arrive, I’m trying to think of all the useful methods of collecting information from the letters ahead of time, instead of having one of those aha moments later and having to go back.

I’d really like to have an index of topics in the letters, so that others will know what can be found and where. I know there are such functions in Word, but they work best if you are working in one long document. I want each transcribed letter to be its own file. There are probably other software applications that handle indexes, maybe even iBooks Author, which lets you drop your files in and Voilà! you have a book. I haven’t run across an indexing feature in the few times I’ve dabbled in it, but it’s on my list to examine.

I wonder what else I’m forgetting.

Update: So, apparently iBooks Author will not create an index because the designers think that the search function is good enough to show you all instances of a term, but it doesn’t help if you don’t know what term to search for, and this is where the index (keywords) is useful to a reader. There is a glossary feature in which you could list keywords one by one and even link occurrences to each other, but a better tool would be one that automatically indexes your text.

I will probably first try adding keywords to each transcribed document on saving it as a PDF. I know how to do that and how to find the keywords in a PDF on a Mac, but I don’t know if this would help in creating an index.

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