Style Sheet Starter-Set for Technical Indexing

Cynthia Berman's Tipsheet from the November 18, 2003 forum:
Managing a Multi-Volume Indexing Project

		Style Sheet Starter-Set for Technical Indexing 


What are the deliverables and what is the final delivery format?


Is deliverable camera-ready copy or will it be typeset?


When are the deliverables due?


How should the deliverables be returned (email, FedEx, ftp) and to whom?






Is the person receiving the deliverable the same person to whom I send my invoice? If not, to whom do I send my invoice?







(If you haven't signed a non-disclosure agreement, ask about it.)


Who is my contact person for content and format questions?



Who is the audience for the document?


How will they access the content: web-based access, PDF file on CD-ROM or intranet, printed book, knowledge base, or a combination of access methods?


Are there other documents in the same document set that the audience will be using?

If the answer is yes, ask if a controlled vocabulary already exists.


Style sheet:

Does a style sheet exist for the project?


Are there other books in the document set whose conventions need to be followed?


Which style manuals are followed here: CMS, MS, Sun, in-house, other?


Source files:

What were the source files created with?


Are index entries to be embedded in the source files?


How will the source files be delivered to me?


How will version control be handled so that only one person is in the files at a time?


Verify the working environment; for example zipped FrameMaker 7.0 source files (Windows environment) downloaded from an ftp site.


Is anything special required, like special fonts? (This is important in FrameMaker because it needs the fonts to open the doc.)


Format of the index:

Is there a page limit?


Number of columns?


Font family and size?


Type of sorting used (word-by-word or letter-by-letter)?


Use of bold and italics?


Placement of See and See also references?


Number of levels for an entry: 1, 2, or 3?


Use of page ranges?


Capitalization and punctuation; for example, should all subentries that are not proper nouns or abbreviations be lowercase? Should See and See also references have initial caps?


Follow convention for use of plural for things that can be counted?



Is there a special way you want me to handle acronyms, numbers, symbols, formulas, or foreign words? (Be prepared to describe how you handle them normally.)


Is there a special way you want me to handle flowcharts, graphics, and other illustrations? (Be prepared to describe how you handle them normally.)


Is there anything else about the content you'd like to tell me for example, is it reused elsewhere?


FrameMaker considerations:

Does a template (including Reference pages) already exist?


Is conditional text in the content and if so, how many conditions are there and how many different documents need to be generated and delivered? (Note: This can impact delivery date and budget.)


Is it okay to use IXgen?


Are there preferences about the number of index entries in a marker box and the location of index markers?


Do I need any special fonts or the art directories?



June 2003                                      ©2004, Cynthia Berman.                                                                    



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