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Mark Text for an Index in Word

February 28, 2011

When you create a really long document, it is very helpful for the readers to have an index in the back which will enable them to find the subject material much more quickly. This is easier than you would think.

  1. Highlight the first item that you would like to put in your index.
  2. Click the References tab.
  3. Over toward the right is the Index section. Click Mark Entry.
  4. A dialog box will open, with the words you highlighted. If you would like to add a sub-entry, now is the time to do it.
  5. When you are done, click Mark. This will change the look of your document, temporarily, because the Show/Hide feature will be turned on, and you will be able to see the marked text.
  6. Just keep your “Mark Index Entry” box open until you finish marking all of the text that you want.


  • Don’t forget to do step 5!
  • Marking your index text as you go is so much easier, than going back when you have completed typing the whole document!
  • To turn off the Show/Hide feature, click this button: ¶.
  • Don’t change any spacing while the Show/Hide feature is turned on! As soon as it is turned off, everything will look normal, trust me.
  • To create the Index, go to the end of your document. Click the References tab and look in the Index section. There is an icon to Insert Index. Click it, follow the directions, and you have an index!

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