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Index Design Checklist

It is important that the design and layout of the book's index be reviewed as a part of the production schedule. This review is separate from all other reviews that are dedicated to verifying accuracy and appropriateness of content.

The following items should be verified during the index design check.

Page Layout

  • Letter heads are included, if part of the original design, and accurate. Check that the same letter head isn't used throughout, and that headings for nonalphabetic characters are included consistently.
  • Bleeding tabs, if used, are placed accurately and are visible from the page edges.
  • Turn line indentations for all index levels are accurate and clearly distinguished from each other.
  • Book page numbers for the index are correct and are placed appropriately on all pages.
  • Column length is relatively even both on individual pages and across verso-recto (left-right) page pairs. ("Even" often implies no more than the height of one text line difference between adjacent columns.)

Index Content Layout

  • Continued lines appear accurately at the tops of the first columns on verso (even-numbered, left-hand) pages.
  • Entry text styles, such as italics and subscripts, appear sparingly, accurately, and consistently.
  • Page number styles, such as boldface, appear sparingly, accurately, and consistently.
  • The index's first page begins at the proper height (sink) below the top of the page.
  • Separators for locators (usually page numbers) are consistent. Check for the separators between locators, within page ranges, and if appropriate, within multipart page numbers.
  • Special locator notations appear sparingly and are used consistently.
  • Roman numeral locators are accurately represented.

Copyright 1999 Seth A. Maislin


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