Creating a Reference Library

I’ve looked around the forums and noticed people have asked questions similar to this, and it doesn’t look like there’s a good way to do this…BUT I will put it to the group regardless. Maybe there are some alternatives out there I’m not aware of.


I have almost 50 ebooks on the same topic. They are all reference materials and most have chapter or section delineations that break the topic in similar ways. I suppose one way to think of it is like a collation of dictionaries.

If I had 20 different dictionaries… what is the BEST and EASIEST way to prepare/process/load/tag/etc so that…

If I type “brain” I am returned 20 entries on the brain, one each from the different dictionaries?

As you can imagine, right now since effectively each dictionary is in one file, I’m returned everything, which isn’t very helpful.

I know I’m going to need to break up the original file somehow and that one of the maxims here is to consider a document to be that which you’d like returned to you.

But it’s SO overwhelming to figure out how to do it–OR am I overlooking something? If I had those ebooks in HTML, for example, does the indexer keep track of sections or anything like that?

I’m teaching myself regex / Perl and whatnot, assuming the worst. :slight_smile:

Any information you might provide would be MOST appreciated!

What is the format of the dictionaries?

If you can get the e-books into an editable format (some form of text), and if there is a clear delimiter between sections (like asterisks, or underscores, or something), there are a variety of utilities that will split the file into chunks at the delimiter.

I know that both Scrivener and Tinderbox will do it, but haven’t actually attempted the feat with DTP.