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Hi Jean,

Thank you for that. I will have a look at the state of the indexing in the Calc Guide to assess 
whether (with a little work) a good back-of-the-book alphabetical index could be included at next 



From: Jean Weber 
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 9:42 PM
To: Steve Fanning 
Cc: LibreOffice Documentation 
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Issuing a book

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 entries. 
*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 documentation.]


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

  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 style 
  > 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.
  > Jean
  > On Sun, 12 Apr 2020 at 18:16 Stephen Fanning <> 
  > wrote:
  >> Olivier,
  >> I seem to recall that you experienced one or two problems when you 
  >> collated
  >> all of the individual chapters of the 6.2 Calc Guide to produce a master
  >> document.
  >> 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.
  >> Regards,
  >> Steve 

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