Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Cross-Referencing Index Entries.

Cross-Referencing Index Entries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 23, 2016)


Creating index entries in a Word document is easy, as you learn in other WordTips. It is not uncommon to cross-reference items in an index, and such cross-references require a change in how you create the index entries. For instance, instead of page numbers after an entry, you might have the text See Johnson, Abigail. To insert a cross-reference in an index entry, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you wish to appear as the main index entry. This is the text under which the cross reference will appear.
  2. Press Alt+Shift+X. Word displays the Mark Index Entry dialog box. Notice that the Main Entry text box is already filled in with the text you specified in step 1. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Mark Index Entry dialog box.

  4. Select the Cross-reference radio button.
  5. In the text box to the right of the Cross-reference radio button, enter the cross reference, as you want it to appear.
  6. Click on Mark.
  7. 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 (12816) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Cross-Referencing 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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What is seven more than 9?

2015-11-30 15:55:04

George Rippey

Regarding the second set of questions in my comment below about how to assign multiple terms to a single index entry, I found I could do this by creating an Automark File as discussed in the Wordtip entitled "Using Subentries in an AutoMark File."

2015-11-30 10:57:22

George Rippey

The cross-referencing option seems less useful than it should be because, unless I am doing it wrong, the page numbers where the cross-referenced term appears are not added to the index entry to which it is cross referenced. When I cross reference index entry “B” to index entry “A”, the resulting index display for B is “See A,” however, it does not add the page numbers where “B” appears to the index under “A”. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to do this? Better yet, is there a way to create a single index entry to which two or more terms can be assigned? For example, my document interchangeably uses the full name “Office of Management and Budget” and the acronym “OMB” when referring to that organization. Is there a way to have the index list the page numbers where either of these terms appear under the single index entry “Office of Management and Budget (OMB)”? Using the subentry option is less than ideal because it indicates/implies that one is a subset of the other, which is not the case. The terms refer to the exact same thing. (Using the subentry option would work if there was a way that the pages on which the subentry term appear would be listed with the page numbers for the main entry, rather than being listed separately.) Thank you

2015-03-17 16:47:14

Mark Schlesinger

built an index from cross-reference info, the resulting index has the order of the cross-ref info in reverse order as seen:
Co-insurance for specific service type Q48, Q42, Q35, Q28, Q25, Q23, Q21, Q20, Q9, Q4, Q1

can this be manipulated to be Q1....Q48

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