[scribus] Alphabetical index in Scribus

Kunda Loves Scribus scribus.user at gmail.com
Sat Jun 21 02:18:38 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM, John Jason Jordan <johnxj at comcast.net>

> On Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:58:51 +0200 (CEST)
> pygmee <radar.map35 at free.fr> dijo:
> >the days we will have a search engine that :
> >1. check in all the document
> >2. check for character styles
> >
> >it will be very easy to do this. Right now we are missing both. Some
> >might be done in python page by page and frame by frame or search in
> >the source in which object a world with particular "invisible" car
> >style is applied, make a list of it and then check with the API in
> >which page they own.
> Having written and published numerous textbooks, and having been a
> student where I needed to use an index, let me point out that a good
> index is not a mere afterthought. Here are some things to consider:
> 1) Nesting. This means making subtopics under a larger topic. If you do
> want nesting, then each subtopic needs to have its own individual
> entry, with a reference to the larger topic, e.g., "see <larger
> topic>."
> 2) Main entries. Sometimes a term will appear in numerous places in the
> book, but there is one place where the term is first defined for the
> reader, or where the discussion is the most complete. I used to bold
> the page number(s) for the main entry, but you could do italics or some
> other scheme instead. And if you do this, tell the user what the bold,
> etc. means with a comment at the start of the index.
> 3) Cross references. These are entries that say "See also."
> 4) With indexes, more is better. Nothing is more frustrating to the
> reader than trying to find something in a book and the term is not
> listed in the index. This means not only should you make an entry for
> everything that you think a reader might need to look up, but you also
> need to duplicate the entry under other terms that the user might use.
> 5) I have never found an indexing tool that did not require at least
> a little manual cleanup after the index was created.
> The last time I needed to create an index for a book laid out with
> Scribus I was fortunate in that almost all the text was in one story. I
> copied the text in that story and pasted it into LibreOffice Writer,
> then manually went through the Writer document and forced page breaks
> at exactly the same places as the pages broke in Scribus. Having done
> this I could use the LibreOffice indexing function, which offered me
> most of the above features. When I finished the index (which Writer
> places at the end of the text) I made some manual edits, then copied
> and pasted it into Scribus as a separate story at the end of the book.
> If you want a rudimentary indexing tool for Scribus it might be possible
> with a script. I can envision a script that copies a selected word in
> a text frame, pastes it into another text frame at the top of the frame
> (so you can see it easily, bearing in mind that the index text will
> quickly overflow its frame). Then the script can add a tab at the end of
> the pasted entry, insert the page number, then move to the beginning of
> the entry and enter a line feed and move up to the new blank line so
> you'll be ready for the next entry. When finished you can copy and paste
> the entire index into a Writer document and sort it, plus make other
> manual edits as desired. Writer can sort text by line, so it is not
> necessary to use Calc or a Writer table for the sorting.
> If someone wants to embellish the script it could have an option to
> bold or italicize the page number for main entries and an option to add
> "see also" instead of a page number. Nesting might be more difficult to
> script.
> Another script could sort a story on a line by line basis, eliminating
> the need for a LibreOffice detour.
> A script such as I envision above should not be difficult to implement,
> but a true indexing tool would have the ability to change the page
> numbers if the entry moves to a different page. In other words, you'd
> have to be sure you used the script only after you were sure that there
> were going to be no further edits to the book that might alter the
> pagination..
> It might also be possible to create a script that would generate an
> index by searching for a specific character style. For example, I could
> create a character style called Index_entry, then go through the book
> and apply it to every term that I want in the index. When I have
> finished I can use the script, which would search the entire work and
> generate the index in a separate frame. If you want the capability of
> having main entries you could create two character styles; one for
> regular entries and one for main entries, so the script would bold or
> italicize the page number when it finds a main entry character style.
> An advantage of this approach is that if the page numbers change you
> can just regenerate the index, although you'd lose any manual edits to
> the index.
> Yet another option might be to create a separate indexing program that
> would work on a PDF file. I dont know if such programs currently exist,
> but if so they are probably not free and open source. Note, however,
> that if you index based on a PDF you'd have to be sure that you didn't
> outline any fonts when exporting from Scribus. An advantage of a
> separate PDF indexer is that it could be used on any PDF file, not just
> PDFs created from Scribus. This would increase its popularity, and
> concomitantly the number of potential developers.
> I offer the above just as thoughts for further discussion. It would be
> cool to have an indexing tool for Scribus, even if it is not as fully
> capable as we might wish.

I learn so much from this ML. Thanks for taking the time to elaborate John!
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