Have you ever wondered who compiles the indexes at the end of books? Traditionally, this has been a specialist profession. However, these days, you can add an index to a document yourself. In this post, for example, we\u2019re looking at how to create an index in Microsoft Word.\r\nWhen to Add an Index\r\nMost documents don\u2019t need an index. In fact, it is usually only book-length non-fiction that does! And even if you are writing a non-fiction book, indexing is often handled by the publisher.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you want to self-publish a work of non-fiction \u2013 or if you are creating another long document such as a company handbook \u2013 you may want to add an index yourself. And this is where the indexing options in Microsoft Word become very useful. This process involves two steps:\r\n\r\n \tMarking terms that you want to appear in the index\r\n \tGenerating the index itself\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ll now look at how to create an index in more detail below.\r\nHow to Mark Entries\r\nMost of the work of creating an index comes with marking text. This means going through the document to look for terms you want to include in the final index. To mark an entry:\r\n\r\n \tUse the cursor to select the word\/phrase you want to include in the index\r\n \tGo to References > Index on the main ribbon and click Mark Entry\r\n \tIn the new dialogue box, select the options required\r\n \tClick Mark to mark the term selected or Mark All to mark every use of the term throughout the document\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5635" align="aligncenter" width="325"] Marking index entries.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThe options in the Mark Entry dialogue box mentioned above will let you:\r\n\r\n \tLink a Subentry (i.e., a similar term) to the main term\r\n \tCross-reference a term with another index entry\r\n \tControl the page number format\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5636" align="aligncenter" width="273"] Index entry options.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nMake sure to do this for every term that you want to include in the index. If you need to \u201cunmark\u201d a term, you will first need to turn on hidden text in Word. You will then be able to see, and if required remove, the index entry in curly brackets. Make sure to do this for all similar entries.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5637" align="aligncenter" width="494"] A marked entry field.[\/caption]\r\nHow to Create an Index\r\nOnce you have marked your entries, all that\u2019s left is to create an index:\r\n\r\n \tPlace the cursor where you want to create an index\r\n \tGo to References > Index and select Insert Index\r\n \tSelect any required formatting options from the menu\r\n \tClick OK to insert an index in the selected location\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5638" align="aligncenter" width="340"] The index menu.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nMicrosoft Word will generate an index based on your marked entries. If you change any of the marked entries, you can then update the index at the click of a button by going to References > Index > Update Index.