How to Create Multiple Indexes in Microsoft Word

by Kate Lee

Many documents have more than one index. You may want to create an index of subjects and an index of names, or an index of legal cases or titles of works. You can use the indexing features in Microsoft Word to embed tags in the document, so that as the text moves, the page numbers will still be correct. To create more than one index in Microsoft Word, you’ll need to use flags that give a name to each index and use the name of the index in each tag.

Create Tags for Multiple Indexes in Microsoft Word

Open the Microsoft Word document you want to index.

Go to the Tools menu and choose Options. Click the View tab, and in the Formatting marks section, click All. This will let you see the index tags.

Click where you would like to insert an index tag. You might want to insert the tag close to term you’re indexing, or you might want to put all the tags at the start or end of the paragraph so they don’t accidentally get deleted.

Go to the Insert menu and choose Field. In the Categories column on the left, choose Indexes and Tables. In the Field names column on the right, choose XE.

In the white box that starts with XE, type the index term you want in quotes, then a backslash and a lowercase f, then the name for the index in quotes. Use a colon to separate entries and subentries. Then click OK. For example, to create a name index, your entry might look like {XE “Dick” \f “names”} For a subject index, your entry might look like {XE “children:boys” \f “subjects”}

Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each index entry.

Generate Multiple Indexes in Microsoft Word

Click where you would like to insert the index. If you want to put the indexes in a separate document, see the section below.

Go to the Insert menu and choose Field. In the Categories column on the left, choose Indexes and Tables. In the Field names column on the right, choose Index.

In the white box that starts with INDEX, type a backslash and a lowercase f, then the name for the index in quotes. Then click OK. For example {INDEX \f “names”} The entries for that index will appear, sorted in alphabetical order and with page numbers.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other index(es).

Type a title above each generated index, such as “Name Index” and “Subject Index.”

Create Separate Index Documents

Create a new document and save it in the same folder as the other document file(s).

Go to the Insert menu and choose Field. In the Categories column on the left, choose Indexes and Tables. In the Field names column on the right, choose RD.

In the white box that starts with RD, type the name of the document that has the index entries in quotes.

If the entries are in more than one document, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each document.

Follow the directions above to insert the indexes.

Tips

  • check Since the process of inserting tags can be time consuming, you may want to copy and paste a previous tag for the new entries. Be careful not to delete any quote marks or field codes.
  • check Turn off the Formatting marks before generating the indexes so that the page numbers will be correct.
  • check Make sure to use the same name for each index consistently. For example “name” and “names” should make two different indexes. However, you may need to give each index a name that starts with a different letter, as Microsoft Word may sometimes have difficulty separating index flags that start with the same letter.

Warning

  • close Even if you do everything correctly, you may still have trouble generating the indexes, as these features are not very robustly supported. Try the website below for troubleshooting tips.