How to Create an Index


If your book contains an index, you can choose between purchasing Index Creation or creating the index yourself. If you purchase Index Creation, you will need to provide a complete list of the items you would like us to include in your index. If you are creating the index yourself, please be sure you construct in the way I’m about to discuss or additional production charges could apply.

To begin, find the first word you’d like to appear in your index and select it with your cursor. I’m going to select ‘Adam Salton’. Then, simultaneously press ‘Alt’, ‘Shift’, and ‘X’ on your keyboard. This will bring up the ‘Mark Index Entry’ dialogue box. In this dialogue box, you can enter how the entry should appear in your index. Since this first entry is a proper name, we would suggest entering it last name first. Under ‘Options’, select ‘Current Page’. Then, at the bottom of the window, you have the option of selecting ‘Mark’ or ‘Mark All’. If this is the only time in your manuscript that you want the entry indexed, click ‘Mark’. If you would like every instance of the entry indexed, click ‘Mark All’. For this example, I’m going to ‘Mark All’. You can then close the dialogue box.

If you’re viewing your manuscript in ‘Show Formatting Mode’, you’ll notice a script tag appear after your entry. It is important not to edit or delete these script tags or the entry will not be included in your final index. If you view your manuscript in ‘Hide Formatting Mode’, these script tags will disappear. I’m going to keep working in ‘Show Formatting Mode’ so we can see the entries get tagged as we go. Let’s do a few more entries and then we’ll create the final index.

For the second entry, I’m going to select ‘Empire Club’, and then enter Alt-Shift-X. When the dialogue box pops up, I’m just going to click ‘Mark All’ and close. Now, every instance of the term ‘Empire Club’ will be indexed.

Let’s do one more entry. I’m going to select ‘Southampton’ and enter Alt-Shift-X. Once again, I’m going to click ‘Mark All’ and close.

Even though this is a pretty short index, let’s pretend that we’re finished marking our entries and we’ll go to the end of the manuscript. Click where you want the index to appear. Then, go to ‘Insert’, ‘Reference’, and ‘Index and Tables’. In the dialogue box that pops up, you can select a general template for how your index will appear. We recommend the classic template. You can also enter how many columns you would like your index to be. We recommend two columns. Then, click ‘Okay’.

Then you’ll see the index in your manuscript. If you need to continue adding entries to your manuscript, you can update the index by clicking on it. When you click, you should see the index turn grey. Once it is grey, right-click with your mouse and select ‘Update Field’. It is important to never add, remove, or modify the text in the index itself because any time you update it the changes will be lost. Instead, you will want to insert additional entries the way we’ve already covered, or remove them the following way.

Let’s pretend one of the ‘Adam Salton’ entries, the one on Page 11, needs to be removed. Rather than deleting the entry in the index itself, go to Page 11 of your manuscript and make sure you are in ‘Show Formatting Mode’ so you can see the index script tags. Find the script tag that you want to remove and delete it. Then, go back to your index at the end of the manuscript. Right-click on the index and select ‘Update Field’. You’ll notice that the entry on Page 11 has been removed. If your index has been created this way, the fee for indexing may be waived. If your index has been created another way, there may be additional fees to have it reconstructed.

If you are paying for Index Creation, here’s a tip on how to submit your index list. Let’s say for example one of the entries in your index is ‘Lincoln, Abraham’. When submitting your list to us, we would prefer that you put any or all variations of the entry in parenthesis after the entry. For this example, I’m going to include two variations: ‘Abe Lincoln’ and ‘President Lincoln’. If you do not include these variations in parenthesis, they may not be included in your index. Let’s look at one more example. Let’s say ‘FBI’ is an entry in your index. For this example, you might want to put the following variations in parenthesis: ‘Federal Bureau of Investigations’ and ‘F.B.I.’.

If you have any questions about your index, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-728-8467. We’ll be happy to talk about it with you.