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Chapter 14. Indexing > Global Index

Global Index

The type of index most writers work with is the “back of the book” variety. A global index combines the back-of-the-book indexes from all the books in a set. A global index is a valuable information retrieval device for a reader who is not familiar with all the books in a set. A global index provides a single place where readers can find the information they seek without having to look through several individual indexes.

Formatting a Global Index

In a global index, merely referring a reader to page numbers is insufficient. Because a global index combines the indexes from several books in a set, a reader also needs to know the book in the set to which the reference applies. For this reason, a global index requires a special page numbering style. One method is to use a four-letter abbreviation for an entry’s book title, with a running footer that provides a legend on each index page for the abbreviations. If such a footer is not possible or desirable, put a legend for abbreviations at the beginning of the index.


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