Gary, thank you for the additional information and suggestions.To all who may be following this thread, I'm sorry I'm not responding so promptly, but I've been rather busy lately as we're in the middle of selling our house and jumping through all the necessary hoops -- "inspection/get stuff fixed/close out old permits/meet with lawyer/confer with real estate agent/...etc etc".
(From this point onward, to avoid constantly referring to, uh, the gentleman, as "the gentleman" or "gent", I'll call him "Mr. C".)
I'm going to put together an email this afternoon and send it off to Mr. C, the fellow who asked me, via a friend, for help indexing his document.So I'll be reading through all the responses to this thread to create a summary of the various ways he might consider indexing his document.
And yet another possibility has occurred to me.I wonder what indexing features, if any, the word processor in the open source software suite Open Office has -- http://www.openoffice.org/http://www.openoffice.org/
As the entire suite is freeware, the word processor will import Word documents, and it's often favorably referred to in the computer magazines I read I think it's surely worth a look as it wouldn't cost Mr C anything except a bit of time to download and install it.
But I doubt I'll have time to look into that open source software today, but hope to download and install it over the weekend to see what, if any, indexing features it includes.
Gary, re: your offer to index Mr. C's document yourself...
Do you do this sort of work professionally?On the one hand, I suspect the gentleman in question would be quite glad to let someone else do the work for him as long as the resulting index is thorough and covers the items he wants indexed, but I think he probably doesn't want to pay professional rates.On the other hand, it seems to me that indexing any sort of document of substantial length is a rather specific and personal undertaking and I suspect, in such a situation, no two people are likely to create and organize their index in the same fashion.However, that doesn't mean that their results would necessarily be so different that one person would find another's index unsatisfactory.
In my email summarizing the suggestions here I will, of course, direct Mr. C to this forum and this particular thread so he may possibly chime in here or start a new thread of his own if he decides to seek additional help in deciding how to proceed or needs assistance once he begins working on the index.
Thank you all so much for your suggestions and the information you're providing.I do continue to receive email notices when a new post appears here and definitely do read all of them so please do continue to post additionalhelpful thoughts and suggestions about indexing Mr. C's 500+ pages of genealogical research material.