Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 3, 2013)

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, and 2013. 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. ...


Formatting Labels

Need your labels to look a certain way? You can save time by formatting them before Word actually creates the sheet of ...

Discover More

Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows

Create a simple drawing object, and Excel makes some assumptions about how that object should appear. Excel provides a ...

Discover More

Using Microsoft Fix It

Got a program on your system that you can't get rid of? Here's a handy little program that Microsoft provides that may be ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Printing Post Office Permits on Envelopes

When preparing to snail-mail information, you may want to print your envelopes with permit information in the upper-right ...

Discover More

Automatically Printing an Envelope

When you create a letter, you may want to have Word print a single envelope for that letter. You can do so by following ...

Discover More

Saving an Envelope for Future Use

It can take a while to get an envelope to appear just the way you need. Why throw your work away when you are done with ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.