Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Deleting Index Entries.

Deleting Index Entries

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word provides the tools for you to create complete indexes for your documents. After creating all the fields that mark the index entries, as described in other WordTips, you might decide later to remove an index entry. This is done by deleting the field you originally used to mark an entry. To do this, follow these general steps:

  1. Make sure you have Word set to display text that is formatted as hidden. This is necessary because index fields are normally hidden and cannot be seen. Since they cannot be seen, they cannot be found (using the next step) unless you first make them visible.
  2. Look through your document and locate the index entry you want to delete. If you want, you can use Find and Replace to locate the desired index entry.
  3. Select the entire field, including the field braces, and press Del. The index entry is deleted.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each entry you want to delete.
  5. Undo step 1—turn of the display of hidden text.
  6. Regenerate your index.

If, after completing these steps, your index still includes the index entry, you'll know that you didn't catch and delete all the index entries. Note the page on which the entry occurs (the page number should show in the regenerated index) and then repeat the above steps. If, for example, the index entry appears on page 28, then you would (in step 2) go to page 28, locate the index field, and delete it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11996) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting Index Entries.

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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