TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use \index in classical way, but also with some macros as content. More precisely, I have some macros like \def\foo{BAR}, and I use then \index{\foo}.

Unfortunately, the index is then order by the name of the macro, not the content of the macro. It's quite embarrassing since all the macros are in the top of the list (due to the use of \).

Is there a way to change that?

share|improve this question

If you expand the macro before \index reads it the sorting should be correct after the content. You can do this using \expandafter:

  % ...

It is shorter if you put the { } inside the definition:

  % ...

For more complex content, i.e. with multiple macros you should expand the content fully using \edef (or maybe \protected@edef):

  % ...

If you want to keep the \temp definition local use:



share|improve this answer
To trick with \expandafter does not work in my document. Maybe it's because I have a \textsc in the beginning of my \def ? – bloub__ May 16 '11 at 10:42
What "does not work" exactly? Is the sorting order still incorrect, you mean? I would need to see the full code. Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. – Martin Scharrer May 16 '11 at 10:47
\documentclass[]{article} \usepackage{xspace} \usepackage{index} \title{} \author{} \makeindex \def \px {{\textsc{Exact}\xspace}} \expandafter\index\px \begin{document} Blah \index{aaa} \index{\px} \index{zzz} \printindex \end{document} – bloub__ May 16 '11 at 11:18
@bloub__: You need to write the index entry as text@\format{text} instead, i.e. Exact@\textsc{Exact}, to allow the index to be sorted correctly. I also wouldn't use \xspace for an index-only macro. – Martin Scharrer May 16 '11 at 11:29
Thanks ! But unfortunately, there're not index-only macros -- I also use them in the text. I guess the simple way to solve my problem is to change every "classical" indexes by macros indexes ! – bloub__ May 16 '11 at 11:32

\def\foo{BAR} and I use then \foo\index{\foo} (the wrong entry)\newpage
 and \Index{\foo} (the correct entry).


The first entry is wrong the second with \Index correct:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Thanks, but unfortunately, the index calls are done in a \newcommand, so I cannot make a difference between a classical one and a \def one. – bloub__ May 16 '11 at 10:47
\Index{foo} is the same as foo\expandafter\index\expandafter{foo} – Herbert May 16 '11 at 10:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.