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Trying to help 71 yr old gent index 500+ pages of a Word document
Posted by: Deezak (ID *****6767) Date: March 23, 2008 at 21:07:37
  of 4315

I was asked to help a friend of a friend who would like to create an index of his genealogical work. I think it's unfortunate that no one told him when he began his project that he should look into some of the better genealogical software available. Instead he used MS Word 2000 and has created a 500+ page MS Word document consisting of birth and death records, old family stories, anecdotes and historical accounts of various family members and so on. His data goes back to pre-Revolutionary War times in America and beyond that to England and Europe.

I was asked to help because I'm somewhat knowledgeable about computer hardware and software, but I know almost nothing about genealogy work.

The 71 yr old gentleman who's put all this work into creating a 500 plug page Word document would like to create an index for it. He's primarily interested in creating an index of people and place names. From talking to him on the phone I have the impression he's hoping there's something that he can just run and have it create an index for him. While something like that might, I guess, be possible if he'd used a genealogy program that forced at least some minimal structure on his birth, marriage and death records I'm pretty sure trying to index a large Word document satisfactorily is going to involve a lot of work.

Can anyone suggest any indexing software that will at least make this job somewhat easier for this gentleman. I suspect he'd be willing to spend a little money for a good indexing tool, but I don't think he'd be able to spring for anything very pricey. (I've searched the web a bit and found indexing programs selling for hundreds of dollars, for example.)

I have mentioned in passing that it was too bad someone hadn't advised him early on about using genealogy software for his work, but I don't want to discourage him by saying he should start all over. I will encourage him to take a look at some genealogy software reviews as once he realizes what can be done he may decide it's worthwhile to use some genealogy software for at least some of the informatio he's collected.

Given that he has, in fact, already spent a lot of time creating this rather large Word document, can anyone suggest some indexing software that would work well with a Word 2000 document? Does anyone know if Word 2000 has any built-in indexing features that might be satisfactory? (I'm somewhat familiar with Word 2003, but have never used Word 2000.)

I should also mention that he's doing his work on a computer with the Windows 2000 OS so whatever is suggested should be compatible with that.

Thank you very much for any helpful software you can suggest that might be useful to this gentleman in trying to index this large Word 2000 document.

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