PubPro 2014: The highlights

On May 24, 2014, managing editors and publication production professions from BC and Alberta converged at Harbour Centre for the second annual PubPro 2014 unconference, co-hosted by EAC-BC and Publishing at Simon Fraser University. This unstructured event allows attendees to come with presentations and discussion topics and has proven to be an excellent forum for experienced pros to learn from one another. From that pool of ideas, we finalized the day’s agenda at the first session of the morning.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posted highlights from the event thanks to volunteers Megan Brand, Lara Kordic and Lana Okerlund, who kindly took notes in the sessions and reported back on what they learned.

Here’s the first of many summaries:

Indexes in Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud
by Lara Kordic; presented by Judy Dunlop

This session focused on the use of the indexing feature in the recently launched Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud (CC) and included a wider discussion on indexing concerns and workflow issues. Judy Dunlop began the session by asking participants to identify indexing problems they have encountered in the past; she then went through the basic capabilities of InDesign CC and how its indexing feature could be incorporated into the digital workflow. Some index concerns mentioned include the challenge of assessing the quality of an index or potential indexer, tight schedules, and the difficulty of estimating the length of an index before it is created. Although these issues cannot be directly remedied by using InDesign CC, there are certain aspects of the indexing process that can be improved through the use of CC.

As in previous versions of InDesign, CC can generate an index using tags inserted into the electronic file. Unlike previous versions, CC allows indexes to be linked in multiple digital formats, such as PDF, EPUB and HTML. In some ways, indexing with CC requires indexers and publishers to work together more closely than before because the indexer is working directly in the live (InDesign) file, as opposed to a PDF, and may be involved in the proofreading and revising of the index. In addition to being proficient in InDesign and familiar with Creative Cloud, the indexer must be working in the same version of InDesign as the designer because they are working in the same file. The indexer may still use dedicated indexing software (Cindex, Macrex, Sky etc.), which is recommended for more complex indexes, but it is also possible to create the index directly in InDesign, with the indexer editing and revising the index while embedding markers into the document. Overall, the indexing feature in CC is considered to be a step up from previous versions of InDesign. With some training and closer coordination between publisher and indexer, this could become a viable option for many indexing projects.

Image by Megan Brand.

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