Find Info Fast: How to Create an Index in MS Word

Thursday Dec 17th 2009 by Helen Bradley
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Helen Bradley walks you through Word 2007’s built-in indexing tool and shows how to make document indexes — by hand or automatically.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who knows more about using Microsoft applications than Helen Bradley. Take a look at her Word 2007 indexing tutorial at WinPlanet.com.


When you're finishing a long document such as a report or thesis you'll want to include an index to make it easier for your readers to find information they need. Word has an indexing tool that you can use to create an index either manually or automatically.

» How Indexing Works in Word

Word creates indexes by first having you indicate the words that you want to include in the index and then it compiles the index from this information. You create index references by highlighting the text that you want to use in the page or you can simply create index links in any area of a document even if particular text does not appear there.

» Getting Started

To get started creating an index, first locate a word or two that you would like to add to the index or click in a position in the document that you want to mark as an index location. Select the text and choose References tab > Mark Entry. In the Main Entry area, type the index entry that you want to use — you don't have to use the exact text you have selected. Click Mark and the text will be marked as an index entry. The dialog stays open allowing you to mark multiple entries at a time.

You can create multiple level indexes so if, for example, you wanted an index entry of holiday resorts and then wanted to add separate holiday resort locations as subentries, you can do so. Type Holiday Resorts as the main entry and the resort location as the subentry.

Read the complete Word 2007 indexing tutorial.

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