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Quickly Create Index Codes in MS Word - No Dialog Required

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

If you want to create an index at the end of a Word document, you’ll first need to mark all of the entries that will make up the index. You can do so from the Mark Entry dialog box by clicking on the Mark Entry icon on the References Ribbon and then typing in the entries for the Main entry and the Subentry portion of the index. This can be somewhat of a time-consuming process, with a good amount of tabbing and/or clicking involved.

There’s a quicker way however. If you’ve already marked at least one previous entry in your document, you may find it a lot faster to just copy & paste the index code and then edit the code to reflect the new entry.

The section before the colon is the Main Entry portion of the index and the section after the colon is the subentry.

Here’s how to do it:

To Manually Edit an Index Code

  1. If your index codes aren’t visible, click the Show/Hide Paragraph Marks button on the Paragraph group of the Home Ribbon. 

  2. Click after the bracket of the index code you want to copy.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and press the Left Arrow key to select the entire entry. 

  4. Press Ctrl + C to copy the entry to the clipboard.
  5. Set the insertion point where you want to insert a new index entry.
  6. Press Ctrl + V to paste in the entry.
  7. Select the text before the colon (but after the open quote) and type in the text that you want for the main entry. 

    Index Code
  8. Select the text after the colon (but before the close quote) and type in the text that you want for the subentry.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 for any additional entries that you wish to mark for an index.

Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be able to mark entries in no time at all. This can really be a time-saver, especially if you have a long document with a lot of entries to mark.

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