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Fabrication of planar optical waveguides by silver-ion exchange in glass, and the resulting refractive index profiles related to the fabrication conditions, are investigated. The second-order polynomial profile model proposed by Stewart et al.  is confirmed, and the dependence of the model characteristics on fabrication conditions is analyzed. Use of the resulting relationships is demonstrated by the compilation of a design table of expected waveguide mode structures for given fabrication conditions. Methods of exchanged-ion concentration profile determination are reviewed and a simple method based on sample angle lapping is proposed.