Adding Hyperlinks to an Index

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 30, 2016)

9

Maria wonders if there is a way to generate an index with hyperlinks. She knows how to do this for a table of contents, but cannot find any references on how to create a hyperlinked index.

You cannot find such references because (unfortunately) there is no native capability to do this in Word. You can, however, add the capability by using a third-party add-on like IndexLinker:

http://www.editorium.com/IndexLinker.htm

IndexLinker is a great add-on, but it isn't free. Also, it will only work with the Windows versions of Word. As of this writing, the IndexLinker page indicates it works with versions of Word up through Word 2013. In talking with Jack Lyon (the publisher of IndexLinker), he indicates that he knows of no reason why it shouldn't work with Word 2016, but wanted to hold off saying it definitely would until he did some further testing.

If you prefer to not use an add-on (or IndexLinker won't work for your purposes), then you might try a workaround. Start by creating a series of paragraph styles that define how you want your index entries to look. (These should not be the built-in index styles that Word provides). Once created, generate a TOC that is based on the styles you created.

This approach works because Word allows you to include multiple TOCs in a document and provides great flexibility in how the TOCs are generated. Remember that this is only a workaround, however. You'll definitely need to fiddle around with the TOC settings to get just the look (and usability) you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13445) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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Comments

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What is 4 - 2?

2017-02-25 05:58:36

Mats Linder

Sorry for the double entry... Anyway, I got the IndexLinker working: the problem was that it was not where Word thought it should be, but (in my case; it may be different for others) in the Word\Startup folder. With the kind help of Jack Lyon, creator of IndexLinker, I managed to sort it out. After that, the program worked wonderfully. And I have been looking for something like this (also searching the net) for several years. So a big thank you also to Allen Wyatt for this tip!


2017-02-06 13:15:09

Mats Linder

I managed to get Thomas Redd's method to work (a bit difficult since my Word 2010 does not conform to his instructions), but unfortunately it cannot handle the layout for sub-entries, like

Options
setting, 44-45
for sorting, 61

which IndexLinker seems to do. So I need advice either on how to get IndexLinker to work or on how to handle sub-entries with Thomas Redd's method.


2017-02-06 12:59:12

Mats Linder

I managed to get Thomas Redd's method to work (a bit difficult since my Word 2010 does not conform to his instructions), but unfortunately it cannot handle the layout for sub-entries, like

Options
setting, 44-45
for sorting, 61

which IndexLinker seems to do. So I need advice either on how to get IndexLinker to work or on how to handle sub-entries with Thomas Redd's method.


2017-02-06 11:27:04

Mats Linder

I installed the IndexLinker, and it is visible in the Control Panel. However, it is not visible in Word -- neither on the Add-ins ribbon, nor on the Add-ins list in File > Options > Add-ins.

Can anyone give advice? (Thomas Redd's method looks a bit scary...)


2016-12-10 16:43:31

Barry Campbell

A Word add-in exists that uses embedded XE fields to create an index pick list. Tha originalWord document does not need to be changed.
See www.indexbase.co.uk


2016-08-05 15:16:53

Stephen Gray

I have an index problem that I have not seen addressed. In entries such as

1. { XE F A "dogs"}
2. { XE F A "terriers"}
3. { XE F A "bulldogds"}

should result in an index section like

dogs
terriers
bulldogs

but sometimes gives things like

dogs
terriers
dogs
bulldogs

That is, the index is not collecting subentries properly under the main entry. I have seen this many times and it has to be corrected manually. I am very careful to have consistent spaces and styles in the index entries.

[For those who don't know, the F means that these entries are to go into index "A" (animals, in this case). There can be up to 26 indexes.]


2016-08-04 18:53:55

Alan Slagle

Within the last year or so the Texas judicial system mandated all court filings be made electronically. It stipulated documents be pdfs and OCR searchable. Not a problem. That's an easy conversion in Word.

Some of these filings are lengthy, however, and require table of contents and indexes, stipulated by some of the courts.

My question is, is there a way to preserve hyperlinks in Word in the pdf document?


2016-07-28 16:42:30

Jim Swindle

Thomas Redd's method works! It has a couple of typos and needs a bit of clarification. Here it is, edited.

Word was not designed to enable you to create a hyperlinked index for a document, but you can create a custom Table of Contents that is in alphabetical order.

1. The command to have an in-line text notated as a Table of Contents item is Alt-Shift-O. That will let you mark any item for a table of contents.
2. Also you could mark items for an index, and then open the hidden items with the Show/Hide button to see all the markings.
a. Use search and replace to replace all the “XE“ entries with “TC“ and the index items will become table of contents items.
3. Mark a bogus entry at the top of the document, before your real entries.
4. Now you have to create a way to see all those marked items in the Table of Contents. Go to the end of your document and create a section break from the Layout tab. That will allow you to make the index double-columned later.
5. With the cursor below the section break, go to the Reference Tab. Click the down arrow by Table of Contents.
6. Click custom table of contents, and in that area, click Options.
7. Put a check mark in Table entries field. That will let you create a Table of Contents for the document.
8. Turn off the hidden items and update the Table of Contents to insure that the page numbers are all correct.
9. If you want the entries to look like hyperlinks, beginning at the end and moving up, select all the items in the Table of Contents EXCEPT for the first entry. Copy; paste them to a location below the Table of Contents.
10. Now select either your original items EXCEPT for the first entry, or all of the copied items. Sort them alphabetically. If you still have the bogus entry at the top, delete it.
11. Your field codes may be visible in your main document. Select the entire document.
12. Right-click your Index. Toggle field codes. Then right-click and toggle field codes again.
13. You will have an alphabetical index that is hyperlinked to the places in the document that items are marked.
14. If you wish, in the layout tab you can format the index to have two columns.
15. If you have two tables (one where the entries look like hyperlinks and one where they don’t), delete the first one.

If you need to update the index at a later date, you will need to delete the index and repeat steps 5 to 15 to recreate it. To move to an item, Ctrl - click on the hyperlinked item. To return to the index, press Alt-Left Arrow, and you will be back in the index.


2016-05-02 10:30:27

Thomas Redd

Creating a Hyperlinked Index

If you have a document and you wish to create a hyperlinked index for that document, it cannot be done in the normal controls of Word. A Table of Contents in Word is created with hyperlinks, and that can be the secret to solving your problem.

1. The command to have an in line text notated as a Table of Contents item is Alt-Shift-O. That will let you mark any item for a table of contents.
2. Also you could mark items for an index, and then open the hidden items with the backwards P to see all the markings.
3. Use search and replace to replace all the “ XE “ entries with “ TC “ and the index items will become table of contents items.
4. Now you have to create a way to see all those in line items in the table of contents. Go to the end of your document and create a section great form the Layout tab. That will allow you to make the index double columned later.
5. In the Reference Tab, click the down arrow by Table of Contents.
6. Click custom table of contents, and in that area, click Options
7. Put a check mark in Table entries field. That will let you create a table of contents for the document.
8. Turn off the hidden items and update the table of contents to insure that the page numbers are all correct.
9. Now you need to block all the items in the table of contents and copy them to a location below the table of contents.
10. Now block the copied items and sort them alphabetically and you will have an alphabetical index that is hyperlinked to the places in the document that items are marked.
11. If you wish, in the layout tab you can make the new index into a two columned index by creating two columns.
12. Once you have the alphabetical index created, you can delete the Table of contents you created it from.

If you need to update the index at a later date, you will just need to repeat steps 5 to 12 to recreate it again. This process is a bit complicated, but works well if you want to have a hyperlinked index. To move to an item, hold Ctrl and click the mouse on the hyperlinked item. To return to the index, press Alt-Left Arrow and you will be back in the index items again.


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