Create an index

To create an index, you need to mark the text in the document that you want used in the index.

To mark text for indexing:

  1. Select the text.

    Typically this will be a word or short phrase.

  2. Press Alt+Shift+X.

    This is the keyboard shortcut for the Insert → Reference ? Index and Tables ? Index ? Mark Entry command. Obviously, the keyboard shortcut is significantly easier.

    Mark Index Entry dialog box

  3. Click Mark.
  4. Click Close.

Word creates an Index Entry (XE) field code next to the selected text. The field code will appear if you are showing all hidden formatting characters (click the Show/Hide Paragraph Marks button).

You can use the Mark Index Entry dialog box to create multiple index entries, clicking Close when you are finished with all of them.

  • With the dialog box open, you can select text in the document behind the dialog box, and mark the text as an index entry.
  • If you select text and click Mark All, Word creates index entries for all occurrences of the text in the document.
  • A cross-reference is an index entry that refers to another index entry, rather than to a specific page number. For example: Bombay: see Mumbai. Therefore, you do not select text to create the index entry. Simply enter the Index and the Cross-reference and click Mark.
  • An index entry can be made for a page range. The page range option requires that a bookmark be created. Select the text and choose Insert ? Bookmark. Name the bookmark. Then you can select the Bookmark in the Mark Index Entry dialog box.
  • You can choose to mark an entry for a bold faced or italicized page number.
  • You can create a hierarchy in your index by entering both a Main entry and Subentry. When you create the index, all entries with the same Main entry will be grouped together, then subentries will be alphabetized beneath the main entry.

Once you have marked your document for index entries, you can create your index.

  1. Position the insertion point where you want your index to appear.
  2. Choose Insert ? Reference ? Index and Tables.
  3. Click the Index tab.

    Index and Tables dialog box - Index tab

  4. Configure the Index using options on the Index tab.
  5. Click OK.


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