Style of Indexing

I use a style that is modern, uncluttered, and easy to read which includes:

  • an indented format

  • word-by-word lettering

  • main headings lower case unless proper nouns

  • condensed page numbers (Hart’s Rules)

  • cross-reference see format

  • see also indented as the last heading.


Sample Style


Wilson, Hugh (head shepherd) 78, 91, 111—12,

  114—17, 218—19, 268

Wilson, Samuel (shepherd) 136

Wishaw, Constance (Miss) 244

Wister, Owen 197—8, 273

Wolf, Eric 87

Wolff, R.L. (Robert) 175, 182

‘Woman Question’ (article) (Miller) 236

The Woman in White (Collins) 176, 214

The Woman Who Did (Allen) 160, 162, 177


    attitudes to 66—7, 137—42, 145, 166—71, 252,

       255, 275

    library and books 28—30, 141, 193, 195, 221—2,


    scarcity of 20, 108—9, 128, 135—7, 228, 274—5

    see also gender politics; New Woman debate

Wood, Henry (Mrs) 150, 172, 176—9, 181—4, 195,

  215, 245, 259, 275

   The Channings 40, 179, 190

   East Lynne see East Lynne

   St Martin’s Eve 178, 261

Wooed and Married (Carey) 206

Woof, William (rabbiter) 220

The Wooing of O’T (Alexander) 262

Wordsworth, William 48

Wormwood (Corelli) 170, 177

Wright (whare cook) 117


A Yellow Aster (Iota) 160

Yonge, Charlotte 200, 204, 222

Yorke, A.C. (Reverend) 90, 126—7


Zangwill, Israel 240, 245—6, 253—4

Zola, Emile 63, 157—8, 168, 200, 240


The number of columns depends on the length of the headings.


Other styles can be accommodated


If you have an in-house style or one that your publisher uses, please provide details of this before indexing commences.




There is no need for large indents which generally mean that the index will take up more space and be harder to read. The sample index above uses 0.5cm for the run on off the main heading and subheadings and 1cm for subheadings.


This means that the reader’s eye can quickly scan the information for what they are looking for. The format of an index is very important for its general usability. The simpler, the better so there is less clutter for the eye, ie, avoid unnecessary commas after main headings, dots to lead you to the page number, too large indents.


Because it is very easy for mistakes to be made in getting all the index set right, part of my service includes a proof of the typeset index. This often takes as little as half an hour but avoids mistakes creeping into the index by incorrect input during typesetting. By this stage the indexer is very familiar with the work and can quickly spot if a subheading has ‘become’ a main heading and looks totally out of sequence in the alphabetical list. There are often also issues with see references not being italics, strange page breaks, etc.


It is best if all parties (indexer, editor, typesetter) to work together to ensure the final index is as accurate as possible instead of a great index being compromised at the final stage.