Creating an Index of a Word 2007 Document

If you want to create an index for your Word 2007 document, the first task is to mark the words or phrases you want to include in the index. The most common way to do that is to insert an index marker in the document at each occurrence of each item you want to appear in the index.

Marking index entries

To mark index entries manually, follow these steps as long as you can stay awake:

1. Open the document you want to index.

2. Select the word or phrase you want in the index by using the mouse or the keyboard.

3. Press the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+X.

Alt+Shift+X is one of Word's more memorable keyboard shortcuts, to be sure. It opens the Mark Index Entry dialog box.

4. Double-check the content in the Main Entry field. If it's correct, click the Mark button. If not, correct it and then click Mark.

The text doesn't have to appear in the index exactly as it appears in the document. You may highlight an abbreviation to include in the index, for example, but then edit the Main Entry field so that the full spelling of the word, rather than the abbreviation, appears in the index.

5. To index an entry under a different word, type the alternative entry in the Main Entry field and click the Mark button again.

For example, you might want to create an entry for "mutt, mangy" in addition to "mangy mutt."

6. Mark any additional index entries by highlighting them in the document and clicking the Mark button.

The Mark Index Entry dialog box works somewhat like the Spelling dialog box in the way that it stays on-screen so that you can efficiently mark additional index entries. So, while the Mark Index Entry dialog box remains visible, you can select the text for another index entry and then click Mark to mark it. You can keep indexing for as long as you have the energy.

7. After you mark all of the index entries you want, click the Close button.

The index entries are marked with special codes formatted as hidden text so that you can't normally see them and they don't print. They are there, however, waiting to be counted when you create the index.

Here are some timely tips for preparing your index entries:

  • The most efficient way to create an index is after you write and edit your document. Creating index entries as you write your document just slows you down and distracts you from your primary task: writing.
  • If you come across a word or phrase while marking index entries that you know occurs elsewhere in your document, click the Mark All button in the Mark Index Entry dialog box. By clicking the Mark All button, you create an index entry not only for the selected text, but also for any other occurrence of the selected text within the document.
  • Each time you mark an index entry, Word activates the Show All Formatting Marks option, which reveals not only the hidden text used to mark index entries, but also other characters normally hidden from view, such as field codes, tab characters, optional hyphens, and so on. This behavior is normal, so don't be surprised when it happens
  • Index entries look something like this: { XE "mangy mutt" }, formatted as hidden text. You can edit the index entry text (the part between quotation marks) if you want to change an index entry after you create it.

Creating the index

After you mark the index entries, the process of generating the index is relatively easy:

1. Move the insertion point to the place where you want the index to appear.

The index generally begins on a new page near the end of the document.

2. Open the References tab on the Ribbon and then click the Insert Index button found in the Index group.

The Index dialog box appears.

3. Select the index style that you want from the Formats drop-down list.

4. Play with the other controls in the Index tab to fine-tune the index.

Type: Lets you place index subentries on separate indented lines (Indented) or run together (Run-in).

Columns: Sets the number of columns you want in the index. Two is the norm.

Language: If you have multiple language options installed in Word, you can select the language to use here.

Right Align Page Numbers: Select this check box if you want the page numbers placed at the right edge of the index.

Tab Leader: Changes or removes the dotted line that connects each index entry to its page number. You can remove the dotted line only when you select the Right Align Page Numbers option.

Formats: Lets you choose one of several preset formats for the index. Or, you can specify From Template to use styles in the document's template to determine the formatting for the index.

5. Click OK.

The index is inserted into the document.

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