Index Format

Publishers or authors may have specific formatting guidelines that influence the final look and usability of the index.  Below is a summary of items to consider when creating an index.  Christine Hoskin is available to provide professional recommendations on any of these topics.


Style Preferences



New Deal
new economics
New England


New Deal
new economics
New England

 Page References:

  1. Chicago (Example: 220-25)
  2. Full range (220-225)


Do you want these items singled out?  (i.e., if the entry covers pages 3-6 and a table on the same topic is on page 4, does it need to be specifically mentioned?)

If yes, then how do you want these items identified in the page references?

  1. Italicized t or f following the page numbers?
  2. Page reference in bold
  3. Other (please specify)


  1. Capitalize only when the main entry is capitalized in the text
  2. Capitalize first letter of all main entries

Format: (see Indexing Styles page for examples)

  1. Indented
  2. Run-in

Cross References:

  1. Place “See also” at main entry
  2. Place “See also” at the end of the last subentry

Grouping entries:

Do you want group headings (A, B, C, etc.) before the alphabetical listings of entries starting with that letter? Or is just a blank line preferred?


Is there a maximum number of sub-headings allowed (one level, two levels)?

Other requests:

  1. Are there a minimum or maximum number of pages for the index?
  2. Are there any special requests (such as indexing footnotes, endnotes, appendices, front matter or other back matter)?