Active centers of systematic research are moving, as the computer revolution proceeds, to transfer raw taxonomic data (specimens, checklists, floras, manuals) to digital form. While this process has involved work with complex, expensive database management software in the past, emergence of the Internet as a global medium for information flow has stimulated the development, in the public domain, of relatively simple full-text indexing and retrieval systems for text, images, and textual images. These new systems allow content providers to work in a familiar, text-based environment to create information-rich documents (checklists, manuals, monographs, specimen databases) using standard, commercial microcomputer software (word processing, spreadsheet, database). Base document files, under full control and continuous update by those responsible for the data, are then converted to compressed, full text indices which are "full-text" in the sense that every word in the text is indexed and queries operate only on the index to do the searching. Conversion to 'document database' from original documents can be a simple, quick process for updating and correcting the data resource that involves no contact with either hardware or software specialists. Systems produced by the Texas A&M Bioinformatics Working Group and now online will be used to demonstrate procedural steps and advantages of full text indexing, compression, and retrieval of botanical data.

Key words: bioinformatics, computer, database, floristics, informatics, internet