Re: Advice on using Word to generate index

Subject: Re: Advice on using Word to generate index
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 08:09:01 -0700

Barb Einarsen wrote:
> I've never had a problem using Word's indexing function.

Me, either.

> save yourself needless worry, save a copy of your guide
> with a new name and dive, dive, dive in.

...or just check the pristine version in SourceSafe, CVS, or whatever revision tracking system you're already using. :)

There are a couple of pertinent chapters in the ASI's recent "Software for Indexing." They include an undocumented method for forcing a particular sort order and several alternative ways to approach the indexing task. The book's probably available from their web site (

Personally, I usually just insert an XE field and type in the text between quotes. (Make sure you have "smart quotes" turned off.) If I need to do anything out of the ordinary, I choose Insert, Field; select Index and Tables; select XE; and click Options to remind myself what's available.

As you learn to use the indexing feature, build the index often so you can see where your index entries go. Heck, you can play around in an empty document that contains nothing but XE fields and and INDEX field at the end. Make a couple of nested (two-level) entries, see what happens when you use a comma vs. a colon to separate the levels, make some "see" and "see also" entries.

Have fun!


P.S. I would never use the Mark Index Entry dialog box
(Insert, Index and Tables, Mark Entry). Too much
hand-holding, too many quirks...I'd rather do it
myself. I would also never use Word's "automark"
function, which creates a concordance (never as
useful as a well-crafted index).


HTML Indexer 4 is still the easiest way to create and maintain indexes
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HTML Indexer 4 includes fully integrated cross-references, target frames
and windows, multiple-file output, "one-step accept" of default entries,
and more!



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RE: Advice on using Word to generate index: From: Barb Einarsen

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