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: Specifying an Index Entry Separator.

Specifying an Index Entry Separator

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 13, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


When you use an index field in your document you can indicate how you want Word to separate the index entry (or subentry) from the page number references or cross-references when it actually creates the index. This is done by adding the \e switch to your index field. You can use up to three characters for the separator, in the following manner:

\e "sep"

where sep represents the characters to use as the separator. For instance, if you use the following index field:

{index \e ": "}

Word, when compiling the index, will translate index entries to the following:

Widgets: 32, 38, 92

Notice that the index entry (Widgets) is separated from the page references by a colon and a space—exactly what was specified after the \e switch.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6280) 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: Specifying an Index Entry Separator.

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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