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Change Index Sort Order


Problem description

The settings for a FrameMaker index are specified on the ‘IX’ reference page. The ‘GroupTitleIX’ and ‘SortOrderIX’ paragraphs are relevant for the sort order.
(This information applies to the English FrameMaker.)

FrameScript Change Index Sort Order

The ‘<$alphabetics>’ building block only includes characters that are included in Codepage 1252. Characters from other code pages (e.g.Greek), language specific sorting order (e.g. Swedish: Ä is sorted after Z) and special letters (e.g. Spanish: ‘ch’ und ‘ll’ are treated as independent letters) will not be taken into consideration.

Neither the language assigned to the paragraphs nor the current system environment (system locale) has an impact on this.

This applies not only to FrameMaker up to Version 7 but also to Versions 8 and 9.

To sort the foreign language indices correctly, the two paragraphs ‘GroupTitleIX’ and ‘SortOrderIX’ must be specifically customized for the language after the translation (to the extent that the sort order is not covered by the ‘<$alphabetics>’ building block).

If index entries exist beginning with non-alphabetic or numeric characters, the group titles ‘Symbols’ and ‘Numeric’ on the reference page must also be translated.

These customizations can be carried out using the reference page import of language specific templates. However, language-specific templates are being used less and less frequently (due to the significant maintenance that is required) and the customization of the reference pages is left up to the translation service providers.

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Function description

The script adjusts the entries of the ‘GroupTitleIX’ and ‘SortOrderIX’ paragraphs on the ‘IX’ reference page based on the selected language.

After the script is started, a dialog for the selection of a language will be displayed.

FrameScript Change Index Sort Order

In the example below, the script has adjusted the two relevant paragraphs to the Greek alphabet.

FrameScript Change Index Sort Order

Index entries that begin with the (non-Greek) ASCII characters A-Z will be sorted under the group title ‘A-Z’ before the Greek entries.

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  • The script takes into account indices that were created with the English or German FrameMaker. Because of the overlocalization (of paragraph names, abbreviations for generated documents and text flows on the reference pages), FrameMaker (application) languages other than English and German are currently not supported.
  • Currently, only characters from the ‘common’ code pages are sorted correctly (1250, 1251, 1252, 1253, 1254, 1257). This corresponds with the characters of ISO 8859 character set (without Arabic, Hebrew and Thai) and to a large extent the characters of the WGL4 character set. Characters of extended Unicode ranges (e.g.Latin Extended B or Extended Greek are therefore sorted at the end of the index).
  • The index group titles for special characters and numbers (‘Symbols’ and ‘Numeric’) have not yet been translated into all languages in the script and must be translated manually, if necessary.

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  • FrameMaker 6.0 or higher
  • FrameScript/ElmScript 4.1 or higher
  • Index document or book must be selected


The script works with structured and unstructured documents.

In languages with a non-Latin alphabet (Greek, Cyrillic, Asian), index entries that begin with the ASCII characters A-Z will be grouped under the group title ‘A-Z’ before the respective alphabet.

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