In \documentclass{book}, \printindex shunts the first two columns of my index down the page leaving white space that I don't need. What is the name of this space so that I can reset it to zero?

In reference to the picture below: The aim is to have ’ábé (top of left column, left page) and ’əuk’ə́mi (top of right column, left page) align horizontally with hunav'á and kamentʃú (top of left and right columns, right page).

enter image description here

  • 3
    please tell us at least what document class you're using, and what indexing package(s). (different document classes and indexing packages behave in different ways.) a minimum example would be even better, but may be rather complicated to construct. \printindex usually begins with a \chapter* heading, which would explain the sink at the top of the first page, but the presence of a running head there means that the defaults have already been "adjusted". Sep 23, 2014 at 15:45
  • It's a book (question edited). The vertical skip is, indeed, identical to that following a chapter title. Sep 23, 2014 at 15:52
  • 1
    Following on from @barbarabeeton's comment, insert \chapter*{\indexname} before \printindex. If it produces a normal unnumbered chapter, then the theindex environment has been modified, otherwise \@schapter (\chapter*) has been modified. Once you've determine which of these has happened, you then need a systematic approach to determine which package has altered the definition. Sep 23, 2014 at 17:07
  • I'm guessing there's a \renewcommand{\indexname}{} somewhere in the preamble, which removes the chapter heading but still leaves all the chapter heading construction (spacing and such).
    – Werner
    Sep 23, 2014 at 17:09
  • 1
    @Werner That was my first thought, but \chapter usually issues \thispagestyle{plain} which doesn't seem to have happened given that the page header showing. Sep 23, 2014 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


Following on from Barbara Beeton's tip and Nicola Talbot's comment, I added this directly before \printindex:


using titlesec.sty. Hope this helps anyone else with similar queries.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .