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Microsoft® Manual of Style, Fourth Edition by Microsoft Corporation

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Keywords and online index entries

Online indexes should look similar to print indexes: they should have two levels with indented subentries. Many of the same conceptual guidelines for print indexes apply to online indexes.

The keyword is the term that a user associates with a specific task or set of information. The user types a keyword in the Find or Index box to locate specific information in a document. A keyword can lead to a single topic or to many related topics.

When deciding what keywords to list, consider these categories:

  • Terms for a novice user of your product

  • Terms for an advanced user of your product

  • Common synonyms for words in the topics

  • Words that describe the topic generally

  • Words that describe the topic specifically

  • Words commonly used ...

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