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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 5, 2019)

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Navigating Your Document Using Outline View

When you need to get around a long document, a really helpful method is to use the Outline view built into Word. This tip ...

Discover More

Deriving High and Low Non-Zero Values

When analyzing your numeric data, you may need to figure out the largest and smallest numbers in a set of values. If you ...

Discover More

Quickly Entering Dates and Times

Excel provides keyboard shortcuts for a variety of purposes. This tip examines two such shortcuts, designed to allow ...

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)

Creating an Index Entry for a Range of Pages

Putting together an index for your documents can be challenging, but Word provides some great tools to make the task ...

Discover More

Improper Index Page Numbers

Adding an index to a document can be a nice finishing touch, particularly if the document is a long one. What happens if ...

Discover More

Specifying a Collating Sequence for Indexes

The indexing feature provided by Word can be a great help, but in some situations, it may not sort your index as you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 + 3?

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.

Videos
Subscribe

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.