Index Section Style

You can mark index terms explicitly in AsciiDoc content. Index terms form a controlled vocabulary that can be used to navigate the document by keyword starting from an index.

Index catalog

Although index terms are always processed, only Asciidoctor PDF and the DocBook toolchain support creating an index catalog automatically. To create an index, define a level 1 section (==) marked with the style index at the end of your document.

== Index

Both Asciidoctor PDF and the DocBook toolchain will automatically populate an index into this seed section.

The built-in HTML5 converter in Asciidoctor does not generate an index.

Index terms

There are two types of index terms in AsciiDoc:

flow index term

indexterm2:[<primary>] or ((<primary>))

An index term that appears in the flow of text (i.e., a visible term) and in the index. This type of index term can only be used to define a primary entry.

concealed index term

indexterm:[<primary>, <secondary>, <tertiary>] or (((<primary>, <secondary>, <tertiary>)))

A group of index terms that appear only in the index. This type of index term can be used to define a primary entry as well as optional secondary and tertiary entries.

Here’s an example that shows the two forms in use.

The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite,
held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water,
signifying by divine providence that I, ((Arthur)), (1)
was to carry Excalibur (((Sword, Broadsword, Excalibur))). (2)
That is why I am your king. Shut up! Will you shut up?!
Burn her anyway! I'm not a witch.
Look, my liege! We found them.

indexterm2:[Lancelot] was one of the Knights of the Round Table. (3)
indexterm:[knight, Knight of the Round Table, Lancelot] (4)
1 The double parenthesis form adds a primary index term and includes the term in the generated output.
2 The triple parenthesis form allows for an optional second and third index term and does not include the terms in the generated output (i.e., concealed index term).
3 The inline macro indexterm2:[primary] is equivalent to the double parenthesis form.
4 The inline macro indexterm:[primary, secondary, tertiary] is equivalent to the triple parenthesis form.

If you’re defining a concealed index term (i.e., the indexterm macro), and one of the terms contains a comma, you must surround that segment in double quotes so the comma is treated as content. For example:

I, King Arthur.
indexterm:[knight, "Arthur, King"]


I, King Arthur.
(((knight, "Arthur, King")))