The Indexing Companion Workbook — Self-published, 2009

The Indexing Companion Workbook contains practical exercises with detailed answers to guide learners to a deeper understanding of the indexing process.


The Indexing Companion Workbook: Book Indexing is available for purchase as a PDF ebook through this page.

Purchase from this site (in Australian dollars)

PDF ebook: cost AU$20 (including GST)

Send payment for ebook cost via PayPal to Send an email to to confirm the address you wish the ebook to be sent to. On receipt of payment we will email the PDF file to you as an attachment. You will need to download and install the free Adobe Reader or an equivalent application to view the book.

Printed book: Sold out


Here are some samples to give you an idea of the book’s content:



Sample Questions


Sample Answers


Here is a file containing excerpts from exercises in the book. You can cut-and-paste  from this document to reduce the typing or writing you have to do.

One suggested exercise is for you to index the workbook. Here is a sample index against which you can compare your own creation. If you send me your completed index I will load it here for others to examine.


Alan Walker launching TIC Workbook at ANZSI conference, Sydney, 2009

TIC Workbook launch by Alan Walker, with Glenda Browne
TIC Workbook launch by Alan Walker, with Glenda Browne


Blue Pencil: Newsletter of The Society of Editors (NSW) Inc., April 2010, page 5

Without being overly prescriptive, the Workbook assists indexers to improve their skills by reinforcing basic indexing principles through the exercises, and by giving many examples of a number of specific indexing topics such as disambiguation, regionalisms and non-English names. Although the exercises cover detailed aspects of indexing books and periodicals, they are not only concerned with the indexing task itself, but with everything the indexing profession entails.

The Workbook is therefore most useful for the inexperienced indexer, but experienced indexers, too, will benefit from doing the exercises and considering the answers, which may throw new light on some common problems.

There is material here for the editor to consider also.

The Indexing Companion Workbook: Book Indexing is a well-constructed, practical contribution to the education of information professionals. As Glenda Browne notes on the cover, it is ‘Your indexing mentor in a book’.’

by Angela Grant

The Indexer: the international journal of indexing, v.28 n.1, January 2010, p.46

Like The Indexing Companion, the style is friendly and informal, with much use of the first person; one often feels as if the author is sitting by one’s side giving the benefit of her extensive indexing experience and her clear insights into indexing conundrums. The answers are very full, covering 67 pages compared with 51 pages of questions.

The answers here are always based firmly in real life, with alternative approaches often mentioned; for example, the knotty problems of filing headings beginning with numbers, articles, ‘St’, and so on (exercise 7.39) are discussed at length with reference to the advantages and disadvantages of different filing methods for different types of readership.

The examples range widely over many subjects, from car maintenance and ancient Babylon to medicine and cookery.

Trainee indexers can never have too much practice, and this workbook is to be highly recommended to them. Many more experienced indexers would benefit from it too.

by Ann Hudson

SIdelights: newsletter of the Society of Indexers, no.4 Winter 2000, p. 9

…it’s the up-to-date and comprehensive ‘TIC’ [The Indexing Companion] to which I turn first for authoritative guidance on any professional matter today. Now we have a companion volume to the Companion, so to speak, extending the same engaging writing style to self-administered exercises and based on the same 11-chapter layout with questions at the front and answers at the back, the sequence exactly mirroring discussion in the book.

Progressing through the questions is delightfully straightforward, and as a former trainer myself, I was impressed by the clarity and appositeness of the examples chosen and the detailed and helpfully discursive answer sections: Glenda never seems to write, ‘I’d recommend doing it this way’, without adding a ‘because’.

All in all, the workbook can be recommended as a useful refresher for experienced indexers, a splendid adjunct to the SI workshop programme for those still developing their skills set and an illuminating alternative approach for those having difficulty with the SI training course. I’d guess that most of it would be completely usable without the original book, though of course readers will derive the most benefit by working through them together.

by Bill Johncocks

ASAIB Newsletter November 2009


In 2007 Glenda Browne and Jon Jermey published a book, The Indexing Companion, as their contribution to the growing corpus of publications on indexing. This is an up-to-date resource on learning how to index and pays attention to many theoretical and practical issues of indexing. The book was written with two styles of indexes in mind: book indexes and collection indexes.

Two years later, Glenda Browne published a workbook which is designed to be used with the book indexing sections of The indexing companion. The sequence of exercises in the workbook matches the sequence of discussions in The indexing companion. The workbook does not provide standalone lessons on indexing and inexperienced indexers will need access to The indexing companion to benefit from the workbook.

The indexing companion workbook is a welcome publication on indexing and attempts to fill the existing gap in publications dealing with indexing training. It also is of interest to indexers who wish to update their skills and their knowledge of international indexing practices.

by Madely du Preez