The content index is one of the oldest resources that exist, usually in books or magazines but not so much in Word documents, unless its extension requires it. Thanks to the index we will know where this or that content is without having to browse it, if it is on paper, or go to the search engine if it is in digital format.
If you need an index, many of us create it manually, copying and pasting the names of the sections and subsections. But always, Word allows you to create your own content index automatically. You can even do it with several different methods, to suit the consumer.
Fast and easy. By marking the elements to be indexed, Word will create an index of content that we can customize with the format that we want and include it on our own page. Let’s see how.
Method 1: With Word Styles
In a previous article entitled Apply a new format in seconds with Word Styles, we saw that thanks to the Styles it is possible to customize the appearance of a document with a couple of mouse clicks, so that the font, size and color of the letter change No need to make every change by hand.
In addition to aesthetic or format level, Styles are useful for creating a content index. Continuing with the mentioned article, if we mark headlines and subtitles with the Word Styles throughout our document, that index of content that we need will be automatically generated.
To retrieve it, we will go to Reference> Table of Contents, where we will see the index and that we can paste it into a blank page. In addition, from the sidebar of the table of contents, we can alter the order of that content by simply moving the titles and subtitles.
Method 2: With Create a Word Index
The second way to create a content index with Microsoft Word is to mark the most prominent elements, whether or not they are titles or subtitles. Basically, we will have to select words, phrases or headlines and then go to References> Index and mark that content to highlight with Mark entry.
A new window will open with the title Mark index entry where we can customize the index that will be generated later. The window will remain open while we continue marking more and more elements. In addition, it is possible to mark subentries or subsubstants. The latter must include a semicolon in the Subentry field.
When we are finished, we click Close to finish marking entries, place the prompt on a blank page and go to References> Index> Insert Index. A window will open so we can customize the appearance of the index. For example, by placing the page numbers to the right with a dotted line, change that dotted line to other symbols, apply a predesigned format, that the index appears in several columns …
Once everything is configured, click on OK and go. We already have our custom content index. If in the future, we make any changes, we can update our index from References> Index> Update index.