1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 23, 2012 10:43 AM by Laubender

    Reorder an index alphabetically with styles

    Padanas0 Level 1

      Hi All,

      I need to sort alphabetically an index of a book I have just finished translating into Spanish. The original Index is in English and therefore it is sorted according to the first letter of the words in English, now that it is translated I need to sort it according to the first letter in Spanish.


      I have three levels of entries


      Here is an example


      The English has


      Abdominal abscess

           from Bacteroides, 249

           from Prevotella, 249

      Abdominal actinomycosis, 219

      Abdominal pain

           from amebiasis, 223

           from anthrax, 228

                diagnosis of, 220

                epidemiology of, 219–220

                etiology of, 219

                hospital isolation for, 220


      Now the Spanish has it in the following order


      Absceso abdominal

           por Bacteroides, 249

           por Prevotella, 249

      Actinomicosis abdominal, 219

      Dolor abdominal

           por amebiasis, 223

           por ántrax, 228

                diagnóstico de, 220

                epidemiología de, 219–220

                etiología de, 219

                aislamiento hospitalario por, 220


      The Index was originally created automatically in the first edition of this book with the Index tool but we are already in the 15th edition and what they do is to update it manually with the revisions and edits they do to the book. So what I have right now are just the Styles (3 styles). I need to sort in first place the entries of the first level but I need to keep all the subentries underneath each of them. As an example, I have to put "Dolor abdominal" under the letter D but I have to move it with all the subentries underneath it, and then in a second and third stage sort those sublevels (I could do that with "sort paragraphs"), but my problem is that I cannot figure out a way of doing the first big reorganization of those first levels entries without loosign the subentries underneath them.


      The Index has 122 pages!!! Doing it manually, mainly that first reorganization is an almost impossible task.


      If any of you know a tool or script that will allow me somehow connect that first level with the other two sublevels using the styles each level has and move all that as a block I will be forever grateful.


      All the best!



        • 1. Re: Reorder an index alphabetically with styles
          Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          @Silvia – I think you need a custom script for  this.


          A simple* or more advanced* paragraph sorter will not do the whole job, because it is written for sorting paragraphs only and not leaving indented paragraphs alone.


          And recreating the whole index seems to be no option here…


          * here is something to read in this regard:






          One example for a possible solution:

          You need a clever custom script that will transform your data into a tabular form like shown in the first screen grab from a German Excel below. Note the double entries in the  columns. They are absolutely necessary, at least in column 1, to do the sorting process in Excel [please correct me if I'm wrong]) and could be handy to reestablish your paragraph order after the process:





          Afterwards you could sort using Excel (the Spanish version for doing  a Spanish sort order, of course!):




          Result after sorting:




          And of course another script, that eliminates all double entries and reestablishes the indented paragraphs and their formatting.

          Important: The results shown here could be terribly wrong, because the screen grabs are from a German version of Excel. Thus the German sorting order…