Bug 133523 - Indexes: Allow user to rearrange sub-entries in non-alphabetical order
Summary: Indexes: Allow user to rearrange sub-entries in non-alphabetical order
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: TableofContents-Indexes
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Reported: 2020-05-30 11:14 UTC by R. Green
Modified: 2020-06-14 12:23 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

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Description R. Green 2020-05-30 11:14:07 UTC
Currently, LibreOffice index entries are arranged in alphabetical order. This is appropriate for all main entries and for most subentries in published books.

However it is quite common, in published works, to see index subentries in a non-alphabetical order. For example in a bigraphical entry such as:

Churchill, Winston
   entry into politics
   World War 2
   post-war politics

For bigraphical events, and others, it makes sense to arrange the subentries in DATE order, rather than strict alphabetical order. In other cases the writer may want to arrange according to some other criterion.

SUGGESTION: Allow the subentries of an index entry to be rearranged by the user, if necessary, into an order of his/her own chosing.
Comment 1 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-04 13:41:54 UTC
But you still want the 1st level entry to be alphabetically sorted, like 

Cavendish, William
Churchill, Winston

And the second level to be sorted by some other criteria since date is the value of your key. I believe this goes beyond the simple index and requires a true bibliography / form/database / macro solution. => WF

You can always make the index editable and sort manually. But of course, this will be gone after updating the index.
Comment 2 R. Green 2020-06-04 16:34:18 UTC
My guess is that the user would always want to have the 1st level entries alphabetical, and only apply non-alphabetical sorting to sub-levels.
Comment 3 Thomas Lendo 2020-06-09 19:47:01 UTC
If a user-defined sorting will be allowed, then this must be protected automatically when the index will be updated. No user action like a new checkbox should be introduced.

How new entries will be added? Do we need a sub-sorting or will new entries added after the last existing entry in alphabetical order?
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-14 12:23:56 UTC
I don't think ordering per date is possible or make sense. However, a flexible solution could be desirable (see also https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/196363/change-the-order-of-an-index/).

Another primary sorting than alphabetically is requested in bug 131315. And while I can image a solution for this, it's hard to figure a flexible approach for 1st and 2nd keys. Keep in mind that we need a solution that works for other applications too.

So I believe it's not possible to solve per standard index. The only way I see is per extension that manages the entries. But let's keep the request open for more input.