Editing the Look of Your Print Index

If you incorporate a generated index into your printed output (see Creating an Index Manually for Print), you can customize the way the index entries look in the output. This includes adjusting properties such as font family and size, word space, space above/below, and more. You can also change the look of the entire container holding the generated index.

A style called "MadCap|IndexProxy" is used to control the look of the entire container. Other styles—such as p.IndexHeading, p.Index1, p.Index2, and p.Index3—are used to control the look of individual entries in the index. Style properties—such as margin-left, font-size, and mc-reference-initial-separator—are used to affect the look in different ways.

Settings for the individual entries (e.g., p.IndexHeading, p.Index1) override those from MadCap|IndexProxy.

Example

Example You set a blue font on MadCap|IndexProxy. Because this style controls the entire container, and everything within it, the index headings and all of the keywords and page numbers are blue. The top border of the container is black, 1 px.

However, if you set a red font on p.Index2, second-level index entries will have a red font while everything else remains blue.

How to Determine the Look of a Print Index (Entire Container)

  1. From the Content Explorer, open the stylesheet that you want to modify.
  2. In the local toolbar, make sure the first button displays . If the button displays instead, then click it.

    Note Some of the necessary style properties can also be changed in the Simplified view in the Stylesheet Editor.

  3. In the upper-left of the editor, make sure the drop-down field is set to .
  4. On the left side of the editor, scroll down and select the MadCap|IndexProxy style or a class that you have created under it (e.g., MadCap|IndexProxy.myclass).

  5. From the Show drop-down list on the upper-right side of the editor, select .

    Note If you want to see properties that are of particular importance for a style, you can select Show: Assorted Relevant Properties.

  6. (Optional) You can use the toggle button in the local toolbar to show properties below in a group view or an alphabetical view .
  7. Locate the property you want to change.
  8. The area to the right of the property is used for selecting and entering values. If you know how to enter the information correctly, you can click in the value field and type it directly. Otherwise, click the ellipsis button to the right of the property. Depending on the type of property, the appropriate controls and options display, allowing you to choose or enter values (e.g., select from a drop-down list, click a button, complete fields in a dialog or popup). If you completed values in a popup, click OK at the bottom of the box.

    For example, if you want to change the width of the entire index, you would first expand the Box property group. Then to the right of width, click , and in the popup set the value.

    about column count

    By default, there are usually two columns used in a generated index. However, you can change this:

    • PDF For Adobe PDF output, the column count is set in a page layout. See Creating Columns.
    • Word For Microsoft Word output, the default setting for the index column count is modified in the stylesheet. With the MadCap|IndexProxy style selected, open the Unclassified property group and change the mc-column-count property. However, you can also override this default setting by right-clicking the actual Index proxy wherever you have inserted it, selecting Edit Index Proxy, and editing the Column Count field. See Creating an Index Manually for Print.

    Note For more information about the components and properties in the editor, as well as the tasks that you can perform in it, see Styles and Stylesheets, Editing Styles in a Regular Stylesheet, and Stylesheet Editor.

  9. Click to save your work.

How to Determine the Look of a Print Index (Individual Entries)

  1. From the Content Explorer, open the stylesheet that you want to modify.
  2. Complete one of the following sets of steps, depending on whether you want to use the Simplified view or Advanced view in the Stylesheet Editor.

    • Simplified The Simplified view displays styles in a grid view and is often best for brand new users.

      This view provides an easy way to apply properties to styles, with format options available from a toolbar and dialogs (similar to the way one would use an interface such as Microsoft Word). In some cases, only the most common property options are available in the Simplified view (e.g., font, letter/word spacing, paragraph alignment/indentation, autonumbering format, borders, background). One advantage of the Simplified view is that you can apply a property to multiple styles at the same time. You can also click a check box to hide the properties in the editor, allowing you to see only the styles.

    • Advanced The Advanced view displays styles in a tree structure, and despite the name, is user friendly for authors of all levels.

      For the properties, you can toggle between a grouped display and an alphabetical display. The Advanced view of the Stylesheet Editor lets you edit more settings than are available in the Simplified view. In addition, the Advanced view lets you see and apply settings to multiple mediums and media queries at the same time.

  3. If Using Simplified View

    1. In the local toolbar, make sure the first button displays (which means that the Simplified view is currently shown in the editor). If the button displays instead, then click it.
    2. In the upper-left corner of the editor, click in the drop-down field and select .
    3. From the grid in the bottom portion of the editor, find and select the index class that you want to customize (e.g., p.IndexHeading, p.Index1, p.Index2, p.Index3).

      The class p.Index1 is used for the first-level keyword in the print index, p.Index2 is used for the second-level keyword, and so on. The p.IndexHeading class is used for customizing the letter heading (e.g., A, B, C, D) displayed at the beginning of each section in the index.

      Note The page numbers in the generated list inherit their style settings from the list items before them. However, if you want the page numbers to look different, you can modify the MadCap|xref.IndexPageNumber style.

    4. In the local toolbar of the editor, click . The Properties dialog opens.
    5. Use the tabs and fields in the Properties dialog to change values for any of the style's properties.

      For more information see Styles and Stylesheets, as well as Editing Styles in a Regular Stylesheet.

    6. In the Properties dialog, click OK.

    If Using Advanced View

    1. In the local toolbar, make sure the first button displays . If the button displays instead, then click it.
    2. In the upper-left corner of the editor, click in the drop-down field and select .
    3. On the left side of the editor, expand the p style. Classes of the style are shown below it.
    4. Find and select the p.Index class that you want to customize (e.g., p.Index1, p.Index2, p.Index3).

      The class p.Index1 is used for the first-level keyword in the print index, p.Index2 is used for the second-level keyword, and so on. The p.IndexHeading class is used for customizing the letter heading (e.g., A, B, C, D) displayed at the beginning of each section in the index.

      Note The page numbers in the generated list inherit their style settings from the list items before them. However, if you want the page numbers to look different, you can modify the MadCap|xref.IndexPageNumber style.

    5. From the Show drop-down list on the upper-right side of the editor, select .

      Note If you want to see properties that are of particular importance for a style, you can select Show: Assorted Relevant Properties.

    6. (Optional) You can use the toggle button in the local toolbar to show properties below in a group view or an alphabetical view .
    7. Locate the property you want to change.

      Note Do not use the "PrintSupport" property group for the Index1 through Index9 style classes.

    8. The area to the right of the property is used for selecting and entering values. If you know how to enter the information correctly, you can click in the value field and type it directly. Otherwise, click the ellipsis button to the right of the property. Depending on the type of property, the appropriate controls and options display, allowing you to choose or enter values (e.g., select from a drop-down list, click a button, complete fields in a dialog or popup). If you completed values in a popup, click OK at the bottom of the box.

      Example If you want to change the font size to 10 pt, you would expand Font. Then to the right of font-size, click , in the popup set the font size, and click OK.

      Note For more information about the style tasks that you can perform, see Editing Styles in a Regular Stylesheet.

    9. (Optional) If you want to change the actual characters (e.g., A, B, C, D) that are used for the headings, do the following:
      1. Under the p tag on the left side of the editor, make sure IndexHeading is selected.
      2. From the Show drop-down list on the upper-right side of the editor, select .
      3. If you are using the grouped view, expand the Unclassified group.
      4. To the right of mc-heading-format, type the new format in the value cell. Make sure you place the character within { and } brackets.

        Example The default format is {A}. This means that the headings will simply look like this: A, B, C, D, and so on. If you change it to {a}, the headings will be lowercase: a, b, c, d, and so on. If you change it to -{A}-, the headings will look like this: -A-, -B-, -C-, -D-, and so on.

  4. Click to save your work.

What’s Noteworthy?

Note By default, if your index contains entries with multiple pages in a row, this will be displayed as a range with the pages separated by a dash. For example, instead of showing 10, 11, 12, 13, the index entry will display 10-13.

Note By default index page numbers are left-aligned next to the index keywords. If instead you want page numbers to be right-aligned on the other side of the column—you can edit the mc-leader-offset value (found in the Unclassified property group) for the index entry style (e.g., set it at 25 px).

Note For Adobe PDF output, you can insert Heading variables into page layouts. These variables let you automatically display index headings or terms at the top of pages. See Inserting Heading Variables Into Frames.

Note If you want to change the look of indexes in online output, you can do so by modifying styles within your skin. See Standard Skin Styles and HTML5 Skin Styles.

Note You can change the heading text for an auto-generated index in the language skin. See Changing the Heading Text for Auto-Generated Proxies.

What’s Next?

In addition to determining the look of your print index, you can customize the levels and look for your print TOC. See Editing the Look of a Print TOC and Editing Heading Levels for a Print TOC.

Then you can move on to the remaining tasks for creating printed output. See Print-Based Output.