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Assuming you mean a back-of-the-book alphabetical index: my short answer is
no. Here’s why.

Many (perhaps most) chapters in most books are incompletely or poorly
indexed*, if at all. Therefore IMO having no index Is better than having a
bad one - and an index isn’t really necessary in a PDF, though it’s highly
desirable in a printed book and can be useful in PDF if good use has been
made of synonyms. Also, unless a book index has been reviewed and edited by
one person, it’s usually very inconsistent and/or includes many irrelevant
*And some still include entries for old terminology, going back as far as
the OOo
incarnation of the book.

With our rapid development times and lack of people (especially people with
indexing skills), I think it’s impractical. OTOH, if someone has the time
to do it without delaying release of a book, it’s definitely a
nice-to-have. BTW, I tried to recruit indexers, but they all fled from the
requirement to use OOo/LO embedded index entries.

[My opinion, based on over 15 years volunteering with OOo and LO


On Sun, 12 Apr 2020 at 22:01 Steve Fanning <>

Thanks Jean.

When master documents are produced, is it preferable to include an index
wherever possible?



-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Weber
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 10:42 AM
To: Stephen Fanning
Cc: LibreOffice Documentation
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Issuing a book

OK, found my previous note. I had misremembered some details. Here's
an excerpt from my note.

A big problem for the compiled book was a difference in compatibility
settings between most of the chapter files and the book master file.
In Tools > Oprions > LibreOffice Writer > Compatibility, we must be
sure to UNcheck the options for “Add spacing for paragraphs and tables
(in current document)” and “Add paragraph and table spacing at tops of
pages (in current document)”. With a few exceptions, the chapters were
correct, but the master doc was not.

I tracked another big problem down to the presence of hidden sections
in the master document. They made cross-references to page numbers
come out wrong. When I manually deleted the contents of the hidden
sections, the problem went away. This is a bug. It’s been around for
many years.


On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 7:29 PM Jean Weber <> wrote:

The main problems are caused by hiding the sections containing the
copyright pages in the chapter files. That causes the following page
to be wrong, figure numbers to be wrong, and some other problems that I
don’t recall.  I wrote an email a year or two ago with a summary, but I
can’t find it. IMO it’s a bug, and there’s probably a bug report.

Some minor problems are due to chapter authors’ errors, including not
explicitly setting the first item in the first numbered list in each
chapter to restart at 1.


On Sun, 12 Apr 2020 at 18:16 Stephen Fanning <>



I seem to recall that you experienced one or two problems when you
all of the individual chapters of the 6.2 Calc Guide to produce a master

Please could you give me an overview of what is involved in this process
and where the problem areas lie? I've used master documents and
subdocuments in an older version of Word to manage some large technical
documents but haven't done this in LO yet.



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