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## Chapter 11. Index Generation

To find a topic of interest in a large document, book, or reference work, you usually turn to the table of contents or, more often, to the index. Therefore, an index is a very important part of a document, and most users’ entry point to a source of information is precisely through a pointer in the index. You should, therefore, plan an index and develop it along with the main text [38]. For reasons of consistency, it is beneficial, with the technique discussed below, to use special commands in the text to always print a given keyword in the same way in the text and the index throughout the whole document.

This chapter first reviews the basic indexing commands provided by standard LaTeX, and explains which tools are available to help you build a well-thought-out index. The LaTeX Manual itself does not contain a lot of information about the syntax of the \index entries. However, several articles in TUGboat deal with the question of generating an index with TeX or LaTeX [47,162,163]. The syntax described in Section 11.1 is the one recognized by MakeIndex [37, 103] and xindy [71, 76, 152], the most widely used index preparation programs.

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