9 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2017 4:18 PM by Obi-wan Kenobi

    Index based on para. style

    Jack Level 1

      Would one of you please point me to the procedure for creating an index based on one or more paragraph styles. As recently as late 2016 or early 2017 I successfully published a book in inDesign containing an index based on paragraph styles, but my note-taking/procedure logging was not sufficient to allow me to recreate the procedure in a new, subsequent book now in final preparation.


      Any assistance appreciated, as always.





        • 1. Re: Index based on para. style
          Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5



          Give us more explanations! Thanks!



          • 2. Re: Index based on para. style
            Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

            On Paragraph Styles you con't build any Index as Index are based on single words or toppics. There are several scripts which build index up on Character Styles.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Index based on para. style
              Jack Level 1

              OK, understood. The earlier book (first of a series), consists mainly of photographs of orchids, Every orchid genus has given rise to one or more species over many years of evolution. There are (and will be in, my new book as well) two levels of character style, for genus and species, each with its own formatting.  The index in my previous book appears with genus entry (ies) followed by species entry (ies) indented below the respective genus. As stated above, I'm no longer certain of the procedures/scripts followed in generating the index of the first book


              I expect to produce multiple, additional books of orchid photos, so I really need a well-organized, reusable approach to index-generation based on genus and species. Please advise if I can somehow 'lift', duplicate or modify/adapt the script used in generating the index of the first book, for use in the second, etc. Failing that, would you please point me to procedure(s) for creating a script along the lines indicated above.





              • 4. Re: Index based on para. style
                Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

                Hi Jack.


                If I understand you, you're looking for a way to 1) define different index styles for genus and species, 2) style them differently and 3) be able to transfer those index styles from book to book.


                This can be done simply and easily. For example, for my one-page orchid book I've created the descriptions below:



                Here's a simple illustration of what I think you're looking for. I'm not a botanist, so please excuse the simplified explanations for the genus (Orchids) and species (Purple and White, Pink and White).


                Creating and styling the index is a three part process -- define the styles, create the index entries, then generate the index.


                Step 1 - Define the Styles


                I've created two simple styles: Style1, which is bold and flush-left; and Style2, which is italicized, indented an eighth of an inch, has a right-align tab with a dot leader at 2 inches. There's no tab in my book copy, so only part of the style attributes show here. For more detail on creating paragraph styles, refer to the link below:


                Apply paragraph and character text styles in Adobe InDesign


                Step 2 (and 2a) - Creating Index Entries


                We'll start by creating the Level 1/genus index entry:


                Open the Index panel. Highlight the word Orchids and then click the button indicated above to Create a new index entry.


                This opens the New Page Reference dialog box, as shown below.


                Since we highlighted the word Orchids in our text, it will be the default text in the 1 edit box under Topic Levels: -- All is good, so all you have to do is click on the OK button to create a Level 1 Index entry of Orchids in the Index panel as shown below. Withe the word Orchids in your text still selected, press Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy it (depending on whether you're on a Mac- or Windows-based system).


                Then highlight the words Pink and White, and click the Create a new index entry button in the Index panel. You'll see the highlighted words in the Level 1 edit box, as we had before. Click the downward-pointing arrow in the middle of the dialog box to skip that entry down to the Level 2 edit box, then click in the Level 1 edit box and press Cmd/Ctrl+V, as shown below.


                If it all looks good, Click the OK button. Repeat for the Purple and White entry, whereupon your Index panel should look like the example below.



                Step 3 - Generate the Index and Associate the Index Styles


                Click the Generate Index button in the index panel, which will open the Generate Index panel as shown below.



                In the Level Style portion of the panel, choose Style1 in the Level 1: edit box, and Style2 in the Level 2: edit box. Then, in the Entry Separators section, choose Tab Character in the Following Topic: options box. When your example looks like the illustration above, click the OK button. This creates an index text file. Place it, and it should look like the successful example below.



                Your styling may vary, of course. And you can create/change it as you see fit. But this illustrates the example. Once paragraph styles are created in one document, they can be copied into subsequent documents easily.


                Hope this helps you. If this does work for you, please mark this as correct to forum moderators can see that and archive it to help others who find themselves in a similar predicament.


                Hope this works well for you,



                • 5. Re: Index based on para. style
                  Jack Level 1

                  Yes, perfect, Randy. Thanks for the examples. Have not tried to implement them yet; that will be a more time-consuming process.


                  What keeps nagging at me is that I already have a successful implementation in an existing .indd file. As stated earlier, I failed to keep adequate notes/logs to document what was done in that case. Is there any way todo any data-mining from that .indd to help in this regard? Of perhaps I will simply end up re-learning what you have already explained in the current thread .


                  Going forward (to next book[s], etc.), if I understand this process correctly, instead of waiting until the book is finished, I should define all of the relevant (index-)styles at the outset, and create index entries as and when images are added as a part of the book creation process.


                  Another question: Since each book will be a part of a series, it might be potentially useful, in addition to the index for each individual volume, to produce a free-standing, cumulative index containing entries for the latest volume as well as for all prior volumes, i.e., entries by v.pg. (e.g. 'ii.29', etc.). Nothing urgent here; only food for thought. I have already encountered references to multi-volume documents within inDesign documentation, about which I will need to learn more going forward, but the idea of the cumulative index (my Leica and I have made thousands of orchid photos in five countries on three continents) is very interesting.





                  • 6. Re: Index based on para. style
                    Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

                    If you've created the styles already, putting them in new documents is a piece of cake.


                    In your new document, open the Paragraph Styles panel, then go to the flyaway menu (the four lines at the upper-right) and select the Load Paragraph Styles... command, as shown below.


                    Load Styles1.jpg

                    This opens the Open a File panel shown below.


                    Load Styles2.jpg

                    Navigate your way over to the InDesign document where you want to get your existing styles from -- in my case, I'm illustrating that with the first chapter of my InDesign long documentation book -- select it and click the OK button. From there you can bring over any and all existing styles from your previous document and put them in your next one.


                    As far as workflow goes, you can choose to either first define the index styles as I outlined, or make all your index entries then create your index styles. The only important thing is to do both before you generate your index. While you can create interim indexes and update things as you go along, I find it works best if you do it only once near the end of the production process. It's less work that way.


                    As far as building a master index for multiple volumes, you can do that by creating an InDesign Book by first loading all your volumes in the Book panel, then building a master index globally using InDesign's book functions. You can read more about this here:


                    Create book files with Adobe InDesign


                    And/or by learning how through tutorials like my InDesign Long Documentation course -- please excuse the plug.


                    If this answers your remaining questions, please mark this as answered too, so it gets filed in the archives for the good of the group.


                    Good luck with your publishing efforts,



                    • 7. Re: Index based on para. style
                      Jack Level 1

                      Hi Randy,


                      Thanks, very helpful, but for some reason I am prohibited from posting to that forum directly. Here is the content with which I would like to respond. Hope this works:


                      There was an earlier statement to the effect that index entries apply to character styles rather than to paragraph styles. Indeed, most of my image captions are single-line 'paragraphs' consisting of the following:

                           • Occasionally, 'A', 'L', 'R', 'FC', 'BC', etc., as reference to the actual location of the image being indexed. That content would go in place of page numbers of those items;

                           • Always, genus + species;

                           • One or more other adjectives/modifiers (not to be indexed), i.e., clone names, hybrid-parent crosses, etc. Orchid naming is somewhat complex (orchid show judges train for literally 7 years);


                      In view of all of the above, I believe that I need to do my indexing by character styles.


                      Any comments appreciated.





                      • 8. Re: Index based on para. style
                        Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

                        Hi Jack.


                        You really don't need to use character styles. There is a way to further enhance your index line/paragraph -- e.g. italic topics, with bold page numbers -- by using nested paragraph styles if you want. You can read more about them through the link below:


                        Drop caps and nested styles in InDesign


                        As for the previous comments about using character styles and scripts to format simple index entries, let me be kind and say that the opinion is unnecessarily complex. As a matter of convenience, I just copied the text I already created to simplify responding to you. If the index entry you want to create is the same as the text you've already placed in a given InDesign file, this saves you time and precludes the possibility of transcription errors. But you can add anything you want to an index entry when you create it. For example, I just created a second index entry for the Purple and White text below:


                        Index - second entry 1.jpg


                        When I hit the OK button, it created the following topic listing in the Index panel:


                        Index - second entry 2.jpg


                        And when I generated/replaced the existing index text file, created the following result:


                        Index - second entry 3.jpg

                        I didn't bother to style the Level 3 and Level 4 index listings, though you could if you wanted to. And you can create multiple index entries when you want. At this point, I'm going to sign off from here and leave you to learn how to do indexing stuff on your own. If you could, mark the other entries I've made responding to you as helpful for the good of the archivists.


                        Good luck with your publishing efforts.

                        • 9. Re: Index based on para. style
                          Obi-wan Kenobi Level 5

                          Hi Randy!


                          What Jack Cane wanted was just a "one click!* :



                          [* I've let the UI here!  ;-) ]


                          (^/) [ just for comment! ]