How to index on Word | Tips and Tricks

How to index on Word
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The creation of the index in Word is a convenient feature that allows you to save a lot of time in searching for the contents within an article or a medium-long document.
In practice, an index consists in the creation of a list of words or titles (or captions) followed by the relative page number to allow quick identification.

In this article we will explain how to make an index with word, the well-known word processing program from Microsoft, for Windows and MacOS (for now, neither the mobile nor the internet versions have the appropriate function).

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In Word there is a clear terminological problem, what in editorial jargon is called “index”, in Word it is called “summary”.
While for “index” on Word we mean what editorially is called “analytical index”.

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How to create an automatic index in Word

In this paragraph we will see how to insert a title index on Word documents.
Fortunately, the procedure is automated, just:

  • open the document you want to index with Word and make sure that all the chapter titles are formatted as titles;
  • click on the “References“And then on the item”Summary“;
  • press on “Automatic summary 1“Or on”Automatic summary 2“;
  • at this point the summary will be created.

If you continue to work on the document, the page number may no longer match, in this case you need to click on “Update summary“. The item is always found in the “References“Next to the item”Summary“.

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How to insert an index in Word

We have seen that Word is not exactly clear in terms. What is indicated as an index on the program is actually the analytical index from an editorial point of view.

The index is a list of all the most relevant items followed by the page number in which they appear.


Put an entry inside the index

To create an index in Microsoft Word, we need to start by selecting the text of the item within the document that we want to add as an item to the index. To select one or more words, just hold down the left mouse button while selecting the words of interest.

Indice Word

Then in the Word tab bar, which is located at the top above the command bar, in the “References“You have to click on the command”Mark entry“.
When clicked, a menu will open in which, in the “Main item“, You will have to check if the selected text portion is present, as well as being able to select different options:

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  • if you want to select the single result of our selection, just click on “Mark“;
  • otherwise, if you want to select any relevant result in our document that is the same as our selection, you will have to click on “Mark everything“.

In the same window, you can choose whether to put the numbers in Bold o in Italic.

If you want to apply a very specific rule to our document (for example if we want to exclude the pages of the introduction from the analytical index), you can choose the bookmark option, through which you can select the number of pages that the index will have to take into account in applying the commands seen previously.

In the options menu we also find the cross reference item. This comes in very handy since there allows you to insert a custom text in our index back.

Following the creation of each element that we want to enter in the index, we can take the next step.

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Let’s go to the end of our document and insert a page break using the appropriate command in the “insert“, Under the heading”Pages“.


Create the custom index

The creation of the custom index takes place using the appropriate item next to the command “Mark entry“Used first, then through the”References“And the section”Index“.
After clicking on it, from the appropriate menu we will be able to customize our index: we will be able to select both the type of format to be used, as well as the alignment and type.

If we choose the page number assignment option on the right, we will have the possibility to also use the formatting options of the fill character (it is the space between the text of the index entry and the corresponding page number, typically dots are used).

As soon as the customization is finished, click on “Ok”And the Word index will be created.

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In case you want to add changes, just select the index by clicking the cursor and press the “Update index” button, which is located in the references tab, under insert index.

To delete an element from the index, just look for it in the text and delete what is between the brackets.


Create an index of figures

This is an index where items that have a caption appear. To add a caption to an image or a table, click on it with the right mouse button and select the item “Insert caption“, Or operate through the”References“And click on the appropriate button”Insert caption“.
Once this is done, we will be able to customize both the text and the caption style via the menu.

Word Image Index

Following the creation of our captions, you can go to the “References“And click on the item”Insert index of figures“. The menu that opens will be similar to the one for creating indexes and will allow you to change the formatting.

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If we want to update it, just click on the update table button next to the command.

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