Education and Training :: Éducation et formation

Introduction to indexing

Indexing Books as a Career  – Online, free

Six hour introduction to indexing. Designed and instructed by Sylvia Coates, the creator of Indexing: Theory and Application and University of California – Berkeley.

Training to write indexes

Indexing: Theory and Application (University of California at Berkeley) – Online

Award-winning online course developed by indexer and instructor Sylvia Coates. Teaches “the fundamentals of writing, editing, and delivering back-of-the-book indexes to publishing clients,” as well as embedded and Web indexing. Students learn to use each of the three major indexing software programs (Cindex, Macrex, and SKY).

Heather Ebbs, a past president of both ISC/SCI and the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC), is an instructor in the UC Berkeley course. Heather has 30 years’ experience as an indexer, editor, and writer. In addition to having led the EAC’s indexing seminar in Toronto, Heather has taught book editing at the Banff Publishing Workshop and publications production at Algonquin College. She won the EAC’s Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence in 1986, and The Indexing Society of Canada Tamarack Award in 2011.

Indexing for Books, Journals, and Reports (Ryerson University) – In-class

This course – part of Ryerson University’s Publishing Program – focuses on back-of-the-book indexing, as well as the indexing of journals, reports, and Web sites. Topics range from indexing basics such as alphabetization and punctuation to software and the business of freelance indexing. “Although the emphasis is placed on the practical craft of indexing, the art of an elegant index will also be addressed.”

Mary Newberry, a past president, teaches Indexing for Books, Journals, and Reports (CDPB 311). Mary is an experienced indexer and editor who has taught editing and indexing at George Brown College, as well as writing and editing at Centennial College. She was the recipient of the Stephen Mills Mentorship Award, with the Ryerson Publishing program, in 2001.

Indexing: An Essential Art and Science (Simon Fraser University) – Online

This course – part of Simon Fraser University’s Marketing and Communications Program – is designed for both aspiring indexers and editors who must oversee the indexing work of others. The wide range of topics includes not just the basics of index creation but style guides and reference works, the business of indexing, and opportunities for networking and professional development. Offered as an online course.

ASI Training Course – Online

Available to ASI members and other indexing societies members. Explore indexing and learn how to index via three self-study units that are now accessed online from a secure Training Course website. Students must successfully meet the requirements of all three examinations to be awarded an ASI Certificate of Completion.

Indexing Partners Indexing Boot Camp

Since 2008, Enid Zafran has offered an Indexing Boot Camp at her offices in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This unique one-on-one training is aimed at newer indexers to give them the skills and confidence they need to pursue a career in indexing.

Learn to Index: A Practical Course on Freelance Indexing – Video

Taught by Susan Holbert, this course is available as a set of three videocassettes. “No previous editorial, indexing, or computer experience is necessary to take this workshop.”

Society of Indexers (U.K.) Course – Correspondence

The Society of Indexers runs its own distance-learning course, “Training in Indexing,” which consists of four assessed modules (Units) plus a practical indexing assignment. Although anyone may purchase the Units, only members of the Society of Indexers may take the formal tests. Successful candidates are officially accredited by the Society. For further details, please visit the Society Web page via the link above.

Other education

Indexing A to Z

Seminar offered each year by the Toronto Branch of the Editors’ Association of Canada. Please visit their Seminars page for more information.

Computer Applications – Online

Many public libraries offer access to Gale Courses, which include training in applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel and basic Adobe InDesign. Sessions are instructor led and run for six weeks. New sessions start on the third Wednesday of the month.

Some public libraries also offer access to courses, which include training in Microsoft Word and Excel and more comprehensive Adobe InDesign. The courses are delivered as videos. You can also sign up for a paid monthly subscription at

Publishing, Editing, and Writing | Édition, rédaction et écriture

Editors’ Association of Canada

Seminars on various aspects of editing and publishing are offered throughout the year. Simply click on the name of your regional branch in the left-hand navigation bar for access to links on seminars in your area.

Ryerson University Publishing Program – Ryerson’s Continuing Education Division

Tel. (416) 979-5035
Web site (Continuing Education):

Simon Fraser University – Writing and Communications Program

Tel. (778) 782-800

Taxonomies, Controlled Vocabularies, and Thesaurus Creation (Hedden Information Management) – Online
This course provides both a basic introduction to taxonomies, discusses best practices for creating terms and relationships, and provides some practice to start working on taxonomies and thesauri.