Creating a Glossary and Index

You can easily create a glossary and/or index for your publication.

Procedure. Create a glossary
  1. In a separate topic, add a glossary element.

  2. Add your entries with the element glossentry, each with a term (glossterm) and a definition (glossdef).

  3. In your actual content (in the topics of your publication), add references to the glossary by simple glossterm elements in line in the text.

    When you publish your publication, the glossterms will be recognized and automatically linked to the glossary.


    • If you should happen to use glossterm text that is not identical to the glossterm in the glossary itself, you can add the identical text as a baseform attribute. For example if you have the term "Configure" in your glossary, but in your topic you need to refer to it in text as "configuring", you can add the attribute baseform with the exact value "Configure".

      Another option is to give the glossterms in your glossary an xml:id, and then you can link from the glossterms in your content by a linkend attribute.

    • There is also a possibility to enable an "auto-title" for the glossary element itself, which is also translated when publishing to other languages. This usually only makes sense if you have your glossary in a topic with some other title.

      By default this auto-title is not displayed. If  you want it, you can enable it in the Layout Editor for PDF, or display it by CSS for HTML5:

      .glossary .titlepage{
          display: block;
Procedure. Create an index
  1. Create an index by having a separate topic with no other content than the title.

  2. Then just add an empty index element.

  3. Now in your topics, where ever you want to, create index references using the element indexterm in line in your text content. Each needs to have at least one child element, such as primary.

    The index will now be automatically created, alphabetically sorted, categorized by letter, and linked to from the text.

Glossary popovers for HTML5 Help Center

By default, the HTML5 Help Center output will create so-called popovers for glossary terms. This means that when the user hovers over a term in your content, the definition will pop up.

If you do not want that, but only have the glossary term link to the glossary, you can disable the popovers in the Layout Editor, under the section Classes and attributes.

Sort the Glossary

You can sort the glossary entries so that they are listed in alphabetical order in the Paligo editor.

  1. Open the glossary topic and position the cursor inside the glossary element but before the first glossterm element.

  2. Use a keyboard shortcut to sort the entries:

    • On Mac, use:

      Control ^Option ⌥ Shift ⇧ G

      On Windows, use:

      CtrlAlt Shift G