Archive for May, 2012

Problems with e-Book Indexes

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

E-Book Text-Reflow Problem

Why do the vast majority of e-books today come without indexes?  Primarily, because of implementation challenges.  A reader’s ability to adjust font size plays havoc with page references.  Where, for example, in an e-book should index entries point to?  At certain font sizes, hyperlinked numbers might lead exactly where you want to go.  Or you might have to page ahead – or back – a click or three to find it.  Which direction?  Varying screen sizes will compound matters.

Indexers are familiar with page reflow. That problem is why we warn our clients to make sure the pages they submit for an index are in FINAL form.  This problem is magnified ten times over in e-books.  The reader of an e-book can adjust their font size.  Some readers of e-books like big font; some prefer smaller font.  Now all have many choices of font-size when they use an e-reader device.

Published e-books have a serious text reflow problem.  This problem makes it almost impossible to include hyperlinks to page references that direct the reader to exactly where you want them to go.

I will discuss other problems with e-book indexes in future blog postings.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website,