Using Subentries in an AutoMark File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2019)

An AutoMark file, also called a concordance file, can be used by Word to automatically mark a document for an index. You create the file, which specifies what words or phrases you want marked for the index, and then Word searches through the document, looking for those words and phrases and marking them accordingly. You can use the file to not only specify main index entries, but also subentries.

If you want to use an AutoMark file with your document, you must first customize Word's Quick Access toolbar. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Customize (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (Word 2010 or a later version).
  3. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose Commands Not in the Ribbon. Word adjusts the commands available at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Scroll through the list of commands and click once on the Index and Tables command.
  6. Click the Add button. The Index and Tables command moves to the right side of the dialog box.
  7. Click OK. The dialog box disappears, and a dot (the Index and Tables command) appears on the Quick Access toolbar. Depending on which version of Word you are using, the color of the dot could be green, blue, or white.

Now, if you click on the Index and Options dot, you will see the Index and Options dialog box and you can click the AutoMark button within that dialog box.

Basically, an AutoMark file consists of a two-column table. In the left-hand column you specify the word or phrase that you want to trigger an index entry. In the right-hand column you specify the actual index entry itself. For instance, in the left-hand column you might enter Menkaure, and in the right column you might enter Pyramids. In this way, every occurrence of the word Menkaure in your document would result in an index entry under the word Pyramids.

If you want to get more specific, you could specify that a particular keyword should go under a subentry. For instance, you could put the word Menkaure in the left-hand column, and in the right you could put Pyramids:Egypt. In this way, every instance of the Menkaure in your document would result in an index entry under the word Egypt, which is a sub-entry to the word Pyramids. Likewise, you could put Teotihuachuan is marked as an index entry under Mexico, which is under Pyramids.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5985) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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