Archive for April, 2010

Indexes in E-Books

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Electronic book readers such as the Kindle and the Nook have changed the way people read books. With the electronic book reader, pages are turned electronically and silently, but what happens when the user tries to look up a subject in the index?  The index is static.  It has the same list of subjects and page references as the print version, but requires that the user tediously page through the alphabet to find the subject, then wade through the text to find the referenced page.

The publishing industry has a great opportunity to make indexes dynamic in e-books by adding hyperlinks to index references.  By clicking on an index reference, the reader would be linked to the appropriate section in the book.  Embedded indexing offers this technology, by creating index entries that are inserted electronically into the computer files along with the text of the document.  Instead of creating a separate index file with dedicated indexing software, an embedded index is created in the same software as the rest of the document.

Currently, print documents produced with embedded indexing can be posted online.  When the user clicks on the index entry, the relevant text is displayed because index references have been turned into links.  Adding hyperlinks to index references in e-book indexes would be the next step.

For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website,