Customized song book index - sort order

It’s very helpful that a song book created in SAB automatically creates indices by number and by title. But it appears that the lists are created completely automatically, not created and posted in the .appDef file or something where I might be able to modify them.

I have a case where the order is not what I want. Specifically there are glottals (Saltillo characters) at the beginning of some song names, and the sorting is putting those songs at the end, but I want the glottals ignored and those songs sorted by the rest of the song name. Is there a way to adjust the sort order that is used? Tell it to ignore Saltillos? Or do I need to change the book type from a Song Book to a Default book and build the index manually?

A different but somewhat related issue is that I have a couple of songs that are numbered e.g. 1A and 1B. As of right now, only “1” appears in the index, and both 1A and 1B appear in the same “chapter”. In fact there are also songs 87A and 87B, and they also both show up underneath 1A and 1B in the first “chapter”! (And there is no 87 in the index.) If I put a space before the letters, then both 1’s show up under chapter 1, and both 87’s show up under 87 (at least there now, instead of under 1!). But even though the chapter says “\c 1 A”, the “A” is stripped off and doesn’t show up anywhere. Any thoughts how I can fix this problem?

I had a thought about the 1A and 1B question - I changed the chapter number to “\c 1” and added a “\cl 1A”. Now the chapter label appears correctly, and song 1A appears at the top and song 1B appears below it. Since they both have the same title, I think that should be sufficient for my needs.

So now there is just the question of the sort order. Do I need to build an index manually?


I had a song book in RAB. I created Contents Menu. I have the source in SFM. I convert that to XML then use that to create an importable custom menu via XSLT. In the one I made I had these indexes,

  • Song number
  • Song title
  • First verse first line
  • Chorus first line
  • Tune names
  • Eng tune name
  • Acknowledgments

Verses and Chorus need different markers if you want to get the first line of each. The others are assumed to have unique markers.

This does not affect the drop down Song numbers but provides a more flexible way to make many useful indexes.

It would get you around many of your issues.