I'm using imakeidx and polyglossia packages, main language: french.

I have a nice small index with some \see commands. But the word “voir“ (“see“ in french) printed in the document is not in italics.

I tried out the commands below in the preamble:

\newcommand*\see[2]{\emph{\seename} #1}



but nothing changes.

I made a test by changing the main language to english, and it works well with “see” in italics.

Could someone kindly help me ? Thanks

PS : here is a minimal example…

\setmainfont{Linux Libertine O}
\setsansfont{Linux Biolinum O}
\setmonofont{DejaVu Sans Mono}[Scale=MatchLowercase]

\usepackage{imakeidx} \makeindex


Bla bla bla\index{word-A}.


  • Use this in your preamble: \def\see{\emph{voir}~}.
    – Bernard
    Jan 10 '21 at 20:47
  • @Bernard Thanks for your suggestion, but the inconvenient about this solution is that it adds a page number to the "see" index entry, which is not the desired behavior. But I realized that maybe I didn't expressed myself correctly, because the problem here is not about the \see command, as I said, but the \index command with the following syntax:\index{a|see{b}}. Sorry about it. Jan 11 '21 at 8:48

It is a bug in gloss-french.ldf, which has

\def\alsoname{\emph{voir aussi}}%

in the code for \captionsfrench. The \emph should be removed, because it is already in the standard definition of \see.

What happens is that \see{word-A}{1} in the .ind file becomes, according to the standard definition of \see,

\emph{\seename} word-A

which in turn becomes

\emph{\emph{voir}} word-A

and double emphasis chooses upright type. You can choose one of the following fixes:

  1. \appto\captionsfrench{\def\seename{voir}\def\alsoname{voir aussi}}
  2. \renewcommand{\see}[2]{\seename\ #1}

The former method fixes the wrong setting made by polyglossia; the latter just avoids double emphasis.

  • Thanks for your explanations and the proposed solutions. The fix number 1 works perfectly ! However the fix number 2 deletes the space after "voir". Maybe the reason is that the problem here is not exactly about the \see command (see above my reply to Bernard)... Jan 11 '21 at 8:55
  • @gabrielpdp1979 Yes, you're right! A backslash was missing.
    – egreg
    Jan 11 '21 at 9:02

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