Word's Indexing foibles. Help!

Subject: Word's Indexing foibles. Help!
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 14:27:43 -0800

OK, I'm still struggling with Word's indexing. And I don't know why. I'm
getting duplicate first-level entries in a document that's generated by
RoboHelp X4.1, although I don't think that it being generated by RH should
make a difference. I htink the easiest way to explain will be to show what's
going on, but that'll make this a long post. I know too that many east
coasters are gone for the day, many struggling with the storm.

I built the index entries within RH, and added first-level entries to topics
when they made sense in addition to second-level entries. So in many cases,
I have entries that look like this:

on page 3
{XE "Index entry" \* MERGEFORMAT }{XE "Index entry:Secondary entry" \*

on page 5
{XE "Index entry" \* MERGEFORMAT }{XE "Index entry:Secondary entry 2" \*

The resulting index looks like this:

Index entry
Secondary entry 3
Secondary entry 2 5
Index entry 3
Endex entry 5

I created a brand spankin' new Word document, entered some headings and some
text, and put page breaks before each heading. I then added index entries
such as these:

on page 2
{XE "Index entry" }

on page 3
{XE "Index entry" }

on page 4
{XE "Index entry:Index subentry" }

on page 5
{XE "Index entry:Index subentry" }

on page 6
{XE "Index entry }{XE "Index entry:Index subentry" }

Then on the final page I added an Index field: {INDEX \e "->" \c "2" \z
"1033" } (This actually is the Word-generated Index entry field when you
right-align numbers in 2 columns; pretend the "->" is a tab character.) The

Index entry 2, 3, 6
Index subentry 4, 5, 6

This is exactly what I expect, and don't understand why I'm not getting it
in my original document. (Note: all the fields were added through Word's
Insert Field dialog box, not manually.)

The INDEX field in my generated document has two additional switches, \d,
which adds a separator to each section of the index, and \* MERGEFORMAT. I
tried deleting the generated field and adding a field exactly as I did ni my
test document. I still got the same (bad) results.

The only difference I can see is the \* MERGEFORMAT switch in the XE fields,
but I don't see what difference they make. (I even tried doing a search and
replace to get rid of that MERGEFORMAT switch, but Word's Search function
didn't find them within the field--and yes I made sure I searched for hidden

I'm at loggerheads--and need a solution that doesn require a lot of manual
cleanup afterward, as I'll be re-generating the Word docs until the final
release (or may have others generate them should I be moving on). I'm
usually pretty good at forcing Word to do what I want, but this has me at

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net www.writeforyou.com

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and break
all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf



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