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I've been using the etex and glossaries packages, together with pdflatex, to build a document containing four main glossaries, each customised in a different way. So far the total number of occurrences of \newglossaryentry is 137. This number will keep increasing.

Is there a hard limit to the number of index entries that can be processed by the makeindex or xindy programs? Or rather, are there common issues plaguing such documents that experienced users can foresee?

(I'm not expecting an exhaustive answer, if one exists.)

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How big do you plan to go? certainly a few thousand entries is no problem (I haven't checked whether the code has fixed limits) – David Carlisle Apr 1 '13 at 21:59
@DavidCarlisle The number is likely to increase at a rate of between 5 to 50 entries p/month over the next years, I'd say, although there's no exact science operating here. I changed my question slightly. – nnunes Apr 1 '13 at 22:19
I tried with 10000 index entries, MakeIndex did 145735 comparisons for sorting them. – egreg Apr 1 '13 at 22:29
I can tell you, that a single index can be max. 1024 characters long in MakeIndex. I once observed this issue with glossaries. I do not know, whether there’s a similar limit for Xindy. – Speravir Apr 1 '13 at 23:04

CW from comments

An index with 10000 entries compiled successfully with MakeIndex doing 145735 comparisons during sorting.

There's a limit of 1024 characters for an index entry in MakeIndex (and possibly some length limit for Xindy).

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is there a way to increase the limit of characters for an index entry? Should I modify any file MakeIndex is using? – orestis21 Feb 21 '15 at 19:59
@orestis21 Maybe it's possible to change the MakeIndex limit. But 1024 characters seem sufficient for most applications. – egreg Feb 21 '15 at 20:12

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