Index Catalog

Asciidoctor PDF supports generating an index catalog that itemizes all index terms defined in the document, allowing the reader to navigate the document by keyword.

Add index section

To generate an index, add an empty level-0 or level-1 section annotated with the index style near the end of your document. The converter will automatically populate the catalog with the list of index terms in the document, organized by first letter.

== Index

Select the level appropriate for the doctype you are using (level-0 for book, level-1 for article, etc). You can use any text you want for the title of this section. The only restriction is that no index terms may be defined below this section.

Although the catalog is generated automatically, you have to mark the index terms manually. However, you could use an extension, such as a TreeProcessor, to automatically mark index terms.

How index terms are grouped and sorted

By default, the converter groups index terms by the first letter of the primary term (e.g., A), which we call the category. These categories are displayed in alphabetical order in the index. Within the category, the converter sorts the terms alphabetically.

The exception to this rule is if the primary term does not start with a letter. In this case, the converter group the term (along with its secondary and tertiary terms) in a special category named @. The @ category is displayed before all other categories in the index.

Customize the grouping and sorting rules

If you want to modify the default index grouping and sorting behavior, you must extend the index catalog and apply your own rules.

For example, let’s say that all your functions begin with the prefix fn, but you want to group and sort them by the function name that follows. Here’s rudimentary code you can use to do that:

module Asciidoctor::PDF
  IndexCatalog.prepend ( do
    def store_primary_term name, dest = nil
      store_dest dest if dest
      category = (name.delete_prefix 'fn').upcase.chr
      (init_category category).store_term name, dest

  IndexTermGroup.prepend ( do
    def <=> other
      this = @name.delete_prefix 'fn'
      that = 'fn'
      (val = this.casecmp that) == 0 ? this <=> that : val

You load this code when calling Asciidoctor PDF as follows:

$ asciidoctor-pdf -r ./index-customizer.rb doc.adoc

Now the index terms will be grouped and sorted according to your custom rules.