Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Improper Index References.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2016)
Katherine wrote to indicate that she has some problems creating an index where the same term is indexed on page i and page 1 or on page ii and page 2. If the indexed term is on page i and page 2, there is no problem; the problem only exists when the page numbers are counterparts of each other.
From what I can tell, Word is designed to behave like this. As far as the program is concerned, there are duplicate page numbers in the document (i is the same as 1, and ii is the same as 2), so Word thinks that one page reference covers both occurrences.
Normally, this behavior by Word wouldn't be a problem. Commonly accepted page numbering practices use lowercase Roman numerals to paginate front matter or introductory matter. In the publishing world, front matter is seldom—if ever—indexed. Instead, the main body of the manuscript is indexed, and sometimes the appendices.
The only way around this behavior by Word is to take a look at the structure of your document, and consider moving any indexable content to the main body of the document—to page numbers where you typically use Arabic numerals.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12231) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Improper Index References.
The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!
Word allows you to define prefixes for page numbers. These are often used for chapter or section numbers in a large ...Discover More
Adding a single index to a document is fairly easy. What if you want to add multiple indexes, however? And what if you ...Discover More
When generating an index, Word normally uses a dash to indicate page ranges. You can change the character used for these ...Discover More
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.