Create an index

Deciding what goes in an index can be a long, difficult process. But Word can help make the process of actually creating the index a little less painful. It’s a two-part process: mark the entries and then build the index.

Mark the entries

These steps show you how to mark words or phrases for your index, but you can also Mark index entries for text that spans a range of pages.

  1. Select the text you’d like to use as an index entry or just click where you want to insert the entry.

  2. Click References > Mark Entry.
    Mark entry

  3. You can edit the text in the Mark Index Entry dialog box.
    Mark Index Entry dialog box

  4. You can add a second-level in the Subentry box. If you need a third level, follow the subentry text with a colon.

  5. To create a cross-reference to another entry, click Cross-reference under Options, and then type the text for the other entry in the box.

  6. To format the page numbers that will appear in the index, select the Bold check box or Italic check box below Page number format.

  7. Click Mark to mark the index entry. To mark this text everywhere it shows up in the document, click Mark All.

  8. To mark additional index entries, select the text, click in the Mark Index Entry dialog box, and then repeat steps 3 through 7.

Create the index

After you mark the entries, you’re ready to insert the index into your document.

  1. Click where you want to add the index.

  2. Click References > Insert Index.
    Insert index

  3. In the Index dialog box, you can choose the format for text entries, page numbers, tabs, and leader characters.
    Index dialog box

  4. You can change the overall look of the index by choosing from the Formats dropdown menu. A preview is displayed in the window to the top left.

  5. Click OK.

If you mark more entries after creating your index, you’ll need to update the index to see them. Click the index and press F9. Or click References > Update Index.

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