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  1. #1
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    Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    I need to create and index for a 200 page document. I did a search for Index threads and concluded that there are problems with Word's implementation. Is that correct? What should I be watching for?
    Thanks for any insights.

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    To a certain extent, when you search in the Lounge for a topic, you will always see problems...because that's why people post here. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Many of Word's features work fine for certain tasks & sometimes 3rd party utilities fill a need. That being said, have you had any particular problems with creating an index in your document? One thing I would suggest, whenever you are about to try major changes to an important document, is to create a backup before you start, & then again before important modifications. At least you don't lose your document if things go badly.

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    Indexs in Word are functional and not problematic if you are happy with the way Word does it. If you want to avoid having to enter all the index extries by hand you can use a concordance file which is a list of the key words you want indexed that is used to automatically mark all the index entries.

    Some of the drawbacks about Word indexes are:
    1. The index is not hyperlinked back to the entries in the same way that the TOC is live
    2. Section breaks get created on both sides of an index when it is created

    I have a hazy memory of other another thing so this may require further research to verify this issue. I think running a Concordance file only marks the first occurence of an item in a paragraph so others may slip through the net. This may be a problem where a paragraph splits across a page.

    In short, indexes in Word are a great starting point but if there wasn't any problems then there would be no work for professional indexers. Nothing beats the human element of creating a truly useful index for a 'book' but Word does a good enough job for most 'documents'.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    I've used Word to create indices for a quite a while, and have never had any problems. I do have a couple of suggestions for pain-free index creation:

    Most important, be sure to create your headings using styles. If you do not use styles or use them inconsistently, your results will be unpredictable.

    1. Create the index at the end of your document. Put in a hard page break at the end of your text.
    2. You'll need to put in the title of the index and the text that says "page" or whatever you call the columm of page numbers.
    3. Put in a couple of hard returns and be sure your insertion point/cursor is placed where you want the index (at the left margin, usually).
    4. Create your index.

    An index is not hyperlinked and cannot be automatically updated if there are changes in page numberse, headings, etc. Table of contents can do this, because the table is hperlinked to each individual level. If your document is definitely complete, this shouldn't be an issue, though.

    If you do need to recreate the index, just delete the old index and create a new one.

    Good luck.
    Brent

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    Hi Brent:
    While it is certainly true that the page numbers aren't hyperlinked, you can update the Index after modifications by placing the cursor in front of the field (or selecting the field) & pressing F9. The page numbers will all be updated.

    Also, I find that if I create the Index first & then place a page break in front of it, the paragraph mark doesn't become part of the Index. However, I'm not sure what difference that would make. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Cheers,

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    Thank you for all the advice. Since I placed my first request, I have learnt more about the Index requirement that I am being asked to build.
    It is for a doctoral thesis on a Biblical topic. The format of indices has to be sorted by the various books of the Bible. Then each index entry is numeric, chapter and verse referencing a page number or even a footnote number in some cases.
    It seems to me that Word can only sort index entries alphabetically; thus my requirement is too complex for Word. Can anyone provide me with some leads for finding a Word compatible Addin or a technique to meet this requirement?

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    Re: Creating an index (Word 2000-2002)

    Word does only create an index in alphabetical order but I don't see this as a drawback as I personally wouldn't want to look anything up in an index sorted any other way.

    You are able to create multi-level index entries though so if you want to sort the index entries on other factors you can use multi-level indexes to achieve this. Another possibility is to bookmark the separate sections of your document and then include a bookmark switch ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] in the index to build the index only from that portion of the source document. You would then insert multiple indexes pointing at each part of the document to get several indexes sorted in the way you require. If you examine the options for modifying the index field entry you will almost certainly find a way to create the index you require.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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