Formatting an Alphabetical Index in a block for each entry


We have translated a printed book from 1948 into French and we want to retain the style. A typical index entry looks like this:

Alexander the Great, 388-392; chastisement of, by Dandamis, 388 ff; questions of, to Brahmins, 391; prophesy of death of, by Kalanos, 392.
(all the above with no paragraph breaks, which is what we want)

Here is our version using LibreOffice 6 (sv corresponds to ff, the page numbers are of course different):

Alexandre le Grand, 384 sv

châtiment de, par Dandamis, 384

prophétie de la mort de, par Kalanos, 387

questions de, aux Brahmanes, 386

  1. How do we reproduce the paragraph style of the book?
  2. Is it possible to transcribe 388-392 to the corresponding French page limits using a hyphen?
    Thank you!
    PS I was obliged to put double spacing above, as the forum format did not accept a single carriage return, putting everything in one paragraph in the preview and defeating the object!

I’m afraid none of your requests can be achieved.

Index entries are stored as individual entries without correlation to each other. Entries are then sorted and each one is edited as a paragraph. Since this paragraph is internally generated, it is impossible to edit it to remove the paragraph mark.

As for 1), you’re doomed to live with individual paragraphs.

As mentioned, there is no correlation between entries. When creating one, there is no notion of “starting entry”, nor of “ending entry” which would allow to mark a long sequence as related to a single index entry. You can indeed insert one entry at the beginning of the sequence and the same entry at the end. They will be merged in the same index paragraph.

The merge process can be somehow controlled but i’m not sure if it fits completely your need.

Right-click on the index and Edit index to open the index dialog. Go to Type tab. Check Combine identical entries option if not already done. You can then also check Combine with -.

From a test on one of my documents, I don’t understand clearly in which contexts it gives a range instead of a list, but it’s worth a try.

I don’t see how to generate sv because it corresponds to an open range and this concept does not exist in the index entries.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and “upvote” by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

EDIT 2018-06-27 about Protect against manual changes

When this box is ticked, the index is read-only and you can’t change it from what is internally generated.

When this box is unticked, the index is considered as “normal” text, i.e. you can select words, erase or style them, add new terms in the index. This a manual edit. You can save your document and when you reopen it you find it in the state you left it.

But …

The index does not correspond to “real” text: it is generated text collected from markups in your main text. It is then sorted and the resultant sequence is paragraphs is written in the area which has been designated as the index location. This location has a start and an end point. Full stop.

As a consequence, if you Tools>Update>Indexes & Tables or Update all, the collected data will replace the old index between the start and end points. All previous manual editing vanishes. In a sense, it is logical: the individual entries may have changed; how would you transfer an emphasis from a word into a replaced one? where would be moved an insertion? what would be the target of a deletion? Remember that you may not even have the same number of entries after your main text update.

This is why manual index editing is discouraged because you’ll lose it very easily. In case you really have no other solution (because of limitations inherent to the feature, special requirements, …) do it as the very last operation on your document, just before transmitting it to the printshop.

I checked it works.

Thank you very much for your speedy answer, ajiitoz. I will live with it if necessary. I did try Check Combine identical entries and Combine with -, and will pursue my research and report any progress.

sv is generated by inserting an Entry on two consecutive pages only. I have used this so far for want of better.

A serious problem has just come up. The Index now contains certain words, and even just part of words, quite arbitrarily, in italics. Have you experienced this? Now certain book titles etc. do require italics, and I would like to insert them manually (and correct the arbitrary ones). But I have also been stymied here: Leaving Protected against manual changes unticked still doesn’t allow manual changes! I can make all the changes I want but when I Update the Index, they are not recorded! This is very frustrating and I absolutely need to correct this problem.

As this is my first time on the forum, perhaps you can help me with procedure. I haven’t found the ✓ next to the correct answer. Does this tick (when found) mean that the thread is closed? I certainly don’t want to close it yet, and look forward to other contributions and even to helping get the questions sorted myself.

Also, is there a mechanism for getting bugs like the erroneous italics problem corrected?
Thank you once again.

Italics: this may be a consequence of “AutoCorrect” if these words are written between slashes (this is mentioned in this forum but I did not find any reference to it in the built-in help). Does this happen in main text or index?

Manual changes: remember the index is internally generated by parsing main text for index entries. When you request to update index, it is first wiped out and rebuilt. Consequently, the changes you made are lost.

There is no way to make changes permanent: this would require to store them somewhere and compare the old and new indexes to decide whether to reintroduce them or not. This has no sound technical solution because entry text may come from a different location.

Frustrating for me too!

The check mark ✓ is located in the gray circle at left of answers/question below the score (initially zero). Click on the gray circle, it will tuen green (maybe not immediately, so no use to click once more because it is a toggling control: on-off-on-off-… The upward and downward angle brackets are for upvoting/downvoting the value of the answer.

Checking the mark means the answer gives correct information, satisfies your need, solves your problem, … This is used to draw attention of users on the applicability of it to their own problem.

It leaves the question open so that others may improve the answer.

Last but not least: comments are used when in doubt about a piece of information to qualify as an answer. It may also provide additional information or start a discussion such as this one, though this is not the primary purpose.

Answers should be reserved for real answers. Only one is allowed per user.

Comments can be converted to answers and vice versa

Thank you again, ajlittoz. Sorry for the delay, I have not been available for a while.
The unwanted italics occur only in the index. Are you saying Protected against manual changes cannot be deactivated? What is the point of it?
I have transferred the file to my collaborator and will send him your comments in the hope that he can apply them. I have noted your answers re the use of the forum, thank you.

@Giri: see my answer update