How to Add an Index to a Word 2010 Document

An index in a Word 2010 document does the same thing as a table of contents, but with more detail and at the opposite end of the document. Also, the index is organized by topic or keyword, as opposed to the organizational description a TOC offers:

1

To flag a bit of text for inclusion in the index, select the text you want to reference.

The text can be a word or phrase or any old bit of text. Mark that text as a block. You can mark text by clicking-and-dragging over it, for example.

2

In the Index group on the References tab, click the Mark Entry button.

The Mark Index Entry dialog box appears. The text you selected in your document appears in the Main Entry box. (You can edit that text, if you want.)

3

(Optional) Type a subentry in the Mark Index Entry dialog box.

The subentry further clarifies the main entry. The subentry is especially useful when the main entry is a broad topic.

4

Click either the Mark button or the Mark All button.

The Mark button marks only this particular instance of the word for inclusion in the index. Use this button when you want to mark only instances that you think will most benefit the reader. The Mark All button directs Word to seek out and flag all instances of the text in your document, to create an index entry for every single one. Use this option when you would rather leave it to your reader to decide what’s relevant.

When you mark an index entry, Word activates the Show/Hide command, where characters such as spaces, paragraph marks, and tabs appear in your document.

5

(Optional) Press Ctrl+Shift+8 to cancel the Show/Hide command.

Use the 8 key on the keyboard, not on the numeric keypad.

6

Continue scrolling through your document and looking for stuff to put into the index.

The Mark Index Entry dialog box stays open, allowing you to continue to create your index.

7

Select text in the document, and then click the Mark Index Entry dialog box.

The selected text appears in the Main Entry box.

8

Click the Mark or Mark All button.

Repeat Steps 5 to 7 until you mark all the text that you want.

9

Click the Close button when you’re done.

The Mark Index Entry dialog box disappears.

10

Position the insertion pointer where you want the index to appear.

Most people put the index at the end of a document, which is what the reader expects.

11

Click the Insert Index button from the Index group on the References tab.

The Index dialog box appears.

12

Specify the settings you want for your index.

For example, use the Formats drop-down list to select a style for your index. Also, the Columns list tells Word how many columns wide to make the index. Two columns is the standard.

13

Click the OK button to insert the index into your document.

You can review the index, but don't edit any text.

14

Press Ctrl+Z if you dislike the index layout, and then repeat Steps 10 to 14.

If you think that the index is okay, you're done.

15

To update the index, click the mouse on the index, and then click the Update Index command button from the Index group.

Instantly, Word updates the index to reference any new page numbers and include new marked index entries.

Feel free to add a heading for the index because Word doesn't do it for you.

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