OpenOffice.org Off-the-Wall: ToCs, Indexes and Bibliographies in OOo Writer
Indexes and tables is the phrase that OpenOffice.org Writer uses for tables of contents (ToCs), indexes and bibliographies. The term also covers ToC variants, such as lists of illustrations or tables. At first, the need for the phrase seems momentarily puzzling. If you're like most people, you probably are used to thinking of ToCs, indexes and bibliographies as separate pieces with no relation to one another. That's how most word processors treat them. Roughly half the time, that's how the Writer interface treats them, too.
However, the term exists because Writer doesn't distinguish between these pieces of contents. Lists of figures, tables of contents, indexes, bibliographies--in Writer, all indexes and tables are treated as variations on the same structure. No matter what particular type you are creating, the procedure is identical:
Tag contents in the body of a document for inclusion.
Format the index or table.
Move the cursor to the position for the index or table and create it.
Each step has variations, depending on the type you are creating and, at times, your own preferences. But in each case, the basic procedure is the same.
The first step in creating an index or table in an OOo Writer document is to tag its content in the body of the document. The includes titles that appear in a ToC, the words that appear in an index or the scholarly references that appear in the bibliography. In each case, entries can be tagged automatically or manually.
If a document uses styles throughout, then tagging contents for a ToC is easy. By default, Writer ToCs treat all of the outline levels defined in Tools -> Outline Numbering as tagged content. You can select additional styles to be tagged automatically on the Styles tab of Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Indexes and Tables. Lists of figures and similar ToC variants also have options on the Index/Table tab, many of which also also based on styles. As always, Writer pays dividends to those who use styles. You don't have to use styles to create a ToC, but doing so is by far the simplest choice.
If a document doesn't use styles or if you have a particular style you want to use for a List of Figures or Tables, ToC entries can be tagged manually by selecting Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Entry. This is the same technique used to add words manually to an index. The main difference is the type you select from the Index field of the dialogue box. Whether you're doing the grunt work for a ToC or an index, you still need to provide the text for the entry, which is the text in the actual body of the document. This entry can be added by selecting text before opening the dialogue box or by typing within the box. You also can select the level of the entry and whether all entries with the same text also should be tagged.
For index tags, you can make the entry a sub-entry. For example, if you already had tagged GNU/Linux, you could make Debian a subentry beneath GNU/Linux. Index contents also can be automated by selecting Alphabetical Index as the Type when you select Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Indexes and Tables -> Index/Table. From there, select the Concordance file option. A concordance is a list of key words to tag automatically. Setting up a concordance in a manner that is useful takes more planning than you might think at first, but it is an ideal way to index a long project.
Bibliographical entries are added by selecting Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Bibliography Entry. A bibliographical entry, however, is the citation that appears in the text. For instance, in the APA citation style, the entry in the body of the document might be (Smith: 1999). Unfortunately, the sample bibliographical database that comes with Writer offers misleading examples, but this citation is the short name for the item. Other information can be filled in according to the citation style and whether the source is a book, journal item or some other medium. You don't need to use--and in many cases, can't use--all the fields available for a bibliographical entry. This information can be stored within the document or within a separate bibliographical database.
-- Bruce Byfield (nanday)
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