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736 Views 4 Replies Last post: May 7, 2018 9:10 AM by awin RSS
Level 0 23 posts since
Mar 19, 2015
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Apr 22, 2018 3:30 AM

Providing an index

I'd like to create an Index for the book that I'm currently writing and I notice that Word has an Insert Index in its References section. I can't figure out, though, how to use it. Could anyone recommend a good How To set of instructions for creating an index?


Many thanks!

Level 4 2,935 posts since
Feb 7, 2015
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1. Apr 22, 2018 9:47 AM in response to: HolisticJohn
Re: Providing an index

Just a wild stab -- you might find the solution to your problem among the 2,980,000 results returned by Google, searching on microsoft word index.

Level 5 19,154 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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3. Apr 23, 2018 10:40 AM in response to: HolisticJohn
Re: Providing an index

Actually, I have a different take.  Lots of people use a concordance, from which they remove unwanted words, then they create an index using Word's tools.  But, that ain't a real index.  A good index not only shows key words, but it shows specifics::


Labour Party: founded as Labour Representation Committee, 362-363; in 1900 election, 363; wins by-elections, 363-64; at 1904 Amsterdam Congress, 436; alliance with Liberals, 364-365, etc.


It might also have cross references:


Social Democrats, 139-50, 151, 156 . . . social antecedents of, 156; see also Bolsheviks, Mensheviks


I cannot recommend enough  Indexing Books, by Nancy Mulvany, Chicago.


A good index is a true help to readers.


Arguably, a good index is a lot of work.  It requires close reading, an awareness of the audience, an understanding of the subject.


Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.




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Level 2 130 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
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4. May 7, 2018 9:10 AM in response to: HolisticJohn
Re: Providing an index

The only thing I would add is, is an index appropriate/necessary/helpful to your average reader?  This depends entirely on your book and its audience.  Sometimes a detailed table of contents might do the job.


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