Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a Normal Index.

Creating a Normal Index

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 6, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Once you have inserted all your index entries and subentries, as detailed in other WordTips, Word allows you to create a complete index by following these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the index inserted.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Index group click Insert Index. Word displays the Index dialog box; the Index tab should be selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Index tab of the Index dialog box.

  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to indicate how you want the index to appear.
  6. Click on OK.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps to create a normal index:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the index inserted.
  2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field brackets. Make sure the insertion point stays between the brackets.
  3. Type index.
  4. Press F9 to update the field information. Word replaces the field with the index when the document is printed.

If you decide to use the index field to create your index, there are quite a few field switches you can use to control how Word creates the index. The most useful of these switches are discussed in other WordTips or in Word's Help system.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6017) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Normal Index.

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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