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 an Index Entry.

Creating an Index Entry

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 3, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word includes a feature that allows you to automatically create an index for your document. How you create the actual index is explained in a different tip, but first you must insert index entries throughout your document. These entries are used by Word to pull together the information that is placed in the index. To create an index entry, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you wish to appear as the index entry.
  2. Press Alt+Shift+X. Word displays the Mark Index Entry dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Mark Index Entry dialog box.

  4. Click on Mark.
  5. If you want to mark additional index entries, select them in your document, and then click on Mark.
  6. Click on Close to dismiss the Mark Index Entry dialog box.

Word also allows you to create index subentries. These are index entries that are subordinate to other index entries, and generally appear indented under the main index entry. To insert an index subentry, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you wish to appear as the subentry.
  2. Press Alt+Shift+X. Word displays the Mark Index Entry dialog box. Notice that the text you selected is shown in the Main Entry text box.
  3. Press Ctrl+C to copy the selected Main Entry text to the Clipboard.
  4. Position the insertion point in the Subentry text box.
  5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the text into the Subentry text box.
  6. Change the information in the Main Entry text box to indicate the main index entry to which this subentry should be subordinate.
  7. Click on Mark.
  8. Click on Close to dismiss the Mark Index Entry dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12617) 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 an Index Entry.

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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