I would like to create a .ist style file to change the layout of my Index. I am using book, hyperref and imakeidx. But I am at lost when it comes to creating the .ist file.

Basically, I would like to have the Index with bold alphabets before a new group of words begin. Something like this:




My Codes:


\chapter{This is the First Chapter}  

She was angry \index{angry}  that she wasn't given an apple\index{apple}.  
He drank some beer \index{beer} and then played ball \index{ball}.  


  • How do you want the index to look? Would be helpful if you could produce a brief code sample with one or two index entries so that answers could adapt that. May 17, 2015 at 8:49
  • I have just added an example and a brief code. I know I needed to create a .ist file to change the index style but I don't know how to. TQ.
    – pyro
    May 17, 2015 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Create a pyro.ist file in the same directory as your main file with the following contents:

heading_prefix "\n\\noindent\\textbf{"
heading_suffix "}\\par\\nopagebreak\n"
headings_flag 1

and change the call to \makeindex to

\makeindex[program=makeindex,options=-s pyro,columns=2,intoc=true]

That's all. Your .ind file will look like



  \item angry, \hyperpage{3}
  \item apple, \hyperpage{3}



  \item ball, \hyperpage{3}
  \item beer, \hyperpage{3}


enter image description here

  • 1
    When you said "Create a pyro.ist file...", how do I actually do that? Do I write those codes in a latex editor and save it as .ist? But I couldn't find that option in the editor I'm using. Sorry, this is probably a very simple thing to do but at this moment, I am really stumped..
    – pyro
    May 17, 2015 at 15:09
  • @pyro Yes, any text editor will do and should be able to save a file with whatever name you specify.
    – egreg
    May 17, 2015 at 15:10
  • Still can't get the output. Don't think I am doing the .ist correctly. I am still unable to save a file with a file format extension .ist. I am using Texmaker. When I save the file as pyro.ist, it became pyro.ist.tex.
    – pyro
    May 17, 2015 at 15:22
  • @pyro Rename it from the file manager window (the Finder on Mac OS X, whatever it's called on Windows).
    – egreg
    May 17, 2015 at 15:22
  • Ok....that finally did it! After many days of frustrations....Thanks! Feel like an idiot now... :)
    – pyro
    May 17, 2015 at 15:32

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