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How to build and update Index in Word

Apart from Table of Content, Index is one such feature in Word that provides references to noteworthy topics, objects, etc. in the document for readers’ convenience.

You can build an Index in no time with the following two simple steps:

1. Mark Index entries/sub-entries

2. Create Index

To mark entries

1.   Select text from your document (which you want to mark as an index entry) and press Alt + Shift + x (or Word Ribbon >> References >> Index >> Mark Entry). The Mark Index Entry dialog box appears. The selected text is automatically copied to the Main Entry field.

You can add a sub-entry by typing the text in the Subentry field.

You can even add a third-level entry by inserting a colon (:) immediately after the sub-entry and then type the third level text.

2.   Once you are done with marking all the entries in your document, on the Ribbon, under the tab References, within the group Index, click Insert Index. The Index dialog box appears.


3.   On the dialog box, click OK. Index is created at the cursor position.

Note: If you want the tab header ( ………… ) to appear between each index entry and the corresponding page number, click the check box Right align page number and select a tab header style.

Editing/Updating an Index entry

You can expose each hidden Index fields by clicking the Show/Hide button (or by pressing Alt + Shift + 8). To modify the index entry, simply edit the content within the quotes (after the field XE).

To update Index, select Index and then press F9 from the keyboard.

1 Comment

  1. Hi, thank you very much for this valuable how to.
    Is it possible to create two separate indexes in the same document (index rerum and index nominum)?

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