indexterm (db.indexterm.singular)

indexterm — A wrapper for an indexed term


Content Model

indexterm (db.indexterm.singular) ::=


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • class (enumeration)
    • “singular”
  • pagenum
  • scope (enumeration)
    • “all”
    • “global”
    • “local”
  • significance (enumeration)
    • “normal”
    • “preferred”
  • type
  • zone (IDREFS)


IndexTerms identify text that is to be placed in the index. In the simplest case, the placement of the IndexTerm in the document identifies the location of the term in the text. In other words, the IndexTerm is placed in the flow of the document at the point where the IndexEntry in the Index should point. In other cases, attributes on IndexTerm are used to identify the location of the term in the text.

IndexTerms mark either a single point in the document or a range. A single point is marked with an IndexTerm placed in the text at the point of reference. There are two ways to identify a range of text:

  • Place an IndexTerm at the beginning of the range with Class set to StartOfRange and give this term an ID. Place another IndexTerm at the end of the range with StartRef pointing to the ID of the starting IndexTerm. This second IndexTerm must be empty.

    The advantage of this method is that the range can span unbalanced element boundaries.

  • Place the IndexTerm anywhere you like and point to the element that contains the range of text you wish to index with the Zone attribute on the IndexTerm. Note that Zone is defined as IDREFS so a single IndexTerm can point to multiple ranges.

    The advantage of this method is that IndexTerms can be collected together or even stored totally outside the flow of the document (in the meta for example).

Processing expectations

IndexTerms are suppressed in the primary text flow, although they contribute to the population of an index and serve as anchors for cross references. Under no circumstances is the actual content of IndexTerm rendered in the primary flow.

It is possible to construct index terms that are difficult to parse at best and totally illogical at worst. Consider the following:

<indexterm class='startofrange' zone="id1 id2">...</indexterm>

There is no way that this can fit into the semantics of an IndexTerm. Although it claims to be the start of a range, it does not have an ID for the end-of-range IndexTerm to point back to. In addition, it includes zoned terms, and mixing the two different methods for indicating a range in the same IndexTerm is probably a bad idea.


Common attributes and common linking attributes.



Enumerated values:







Enumerated values:









Enumerated values:










These elements contain indexterm: abbrev, accel, acronym, address, annotation, answer, appendix, application, arg, article, artpagenums, attribution, authorinitials, bibliocoverage, bibliodiv, bibliography, biblioid, bibliolist, bibliomisc, bibliomset, bibliorelation, bibliosource, blockquote, bridgehead, callout, calloutlist, caption (db.caption), caution, chapter, citation, citebiblioid, citetitle, city, classname, classsynopsisinfo, code, colophon, command, computeroutput, confdates, confnum, confsponsor, conftitle, constant, constraintdef, contractnum, contractsponsor, contrib, country, database, dedication, edition, email, emphasis (db._emphasis), emphasis (db.emphasis), entry, envar, errorcode, errorname, errortext, errortype, example, exceptionname, fax, figure, filename, firstname, firstterm, footnote, foreignphrase, formalpara, funcdef, funcparams, funcsynopsisinfo, function, glossary, glossdef, glossdiv, glossentry, glosslist, glosssee, glossseealso, glossterm, guibutton, guiicon, guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, holder, honorific, html:button, html:fieldset, html:form, html:label, html:legend, important, index, indexdiv, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable (db.cals.informaltable), initializer, interfacename, issuenum, itemizedlist, itermset, jobtitle, keycap, keycode, keysym, label, legalnotice, lineage, lineannotation, link, listitem, literal, literallayout, manvolnum, markup, mathphrase, member, methodname, modifier, mousebutton, msgaud, msgexplan, msglevel, msgorig, msgtext, note, olink, option, optional, orderedlist, orgdiv, orgname, otheraddr, othername, package, pagenums, para, paramdef, parameter, partintro, personname, phone, phrase (db._phrase), phrase (db.phrase), pob, postcode, preface, primary, primaryie, procedure, productname, productnumber, programlisting, prompt, property, publishername, qandadiv, qandaset, question, quote, refdescriptor, refentry, refentrytitle, refmeta, refmiscinfo, refname, refpurpose, refsect1, refsect2, refsect3, refsection, refsynopsisdiv, releaseinfo, remark, replaceable, returnvalue, revdescription, revnumber, revremark, screen, secondary, secondaryie, sect1, sect2, sect3, sect4, sect5, section, see, seealso, seealsoie, seeie, seg, segtitle, seriesvolnums, setindex, shortaffil, sidebar, simpara, simplesect, state, step, street, subscript, subtitle, superscript, surname, symbol, synopsis, systemitem, table (db.cals.table), tag, taskprerequisites, taskrelated, tasksummary, td, term, termdef, tertiary, tertiaryie, textobject, th, tip, title, titleabbrev, toc, tocdiv, tocentry, token, trademark, type, uri, userinput, variablelist, varname, volumenum, warning, wordasword, year.


The following elements occur in indexterm: primary, secondary, see, seealso, tertiary.

See Also

indexentry, indexterm (db.indexterm.startofrange), primary, primaryie, secondary, secondaryie, see, seealso, seealsoie, seeie, tertiary, tertiaryie


<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example indexterm</title>

<para>The Tiger<indexterm>
<primary>Big Cats</primary>
is a very large cat indeed.


An example of a zone.

<chapter xmlns=''>
<title>Example Chapter</title>

<indexterm zone="a1"><primary>Network Configuration</primary></indexterm>

<!-- other content here -->

<section xml:id="a1"><title>Configuring Your Network</title>



This alpha reference page is $Revision: 1.4 $ published $Date: 2005/10/30 21:59:13 $.