MS Word for Writers Rock Star Techniques to Make Your Writing and Formatting Sparkle
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As you're now getting closer and closer to the finish line with your manuscript, one of the touches that you or your beta readers or even an editor may have recommended to you is to add an index to your document. Now, if you're doing this on your own as self publishing, I'm going to show you the insider tricks here, using a book from one of my author friends, Kevin buck, who recently released a book The Concise History of rock and roll. And this is super fun, and could obviously benefit from having many of the names of bands and artists throughout perhaps even songs added to an index so that a reader could easily flip to the back, find their favorite artist, and then locate within the text quickly and easily the pages where they want to focus their reading time. So we're going to accomplish this beginning on the references tab, so slide over there.

And we'll be looking at the area of the toolbar. That's toward the top right this time where we have Mark entry and insert index. So our first step is to go systematically through our book and decide which text we want to add as entries in our index. And so the two of us decided that we definitely wanted to add all of the artists names. So locate from beginning to end. Each of the first appearances of those artists highlight their names, click Mark entry, you'll see that it copies it over as the main entry here.

And we're going to have it mark all of the instances where led zepplin appears throughout this document. So whatever item you've selected that's going to appear in your index, just have that mark all feature and it will search your entire data Document just like Find and Replace does, it will mark all of those instances, I'm going to close the box. So you can see how it marks it with a secret code here. And the reason we can see that secret code at the moment is that it turned on our show and hide feature back on that Home ribbon toolbar in the paragraph area. That's why we can see this. And if it disturbs you to see that you can turn it off.

I would recommend leaving it on though as you work through your index. Otherwise, you're going to be turning it on and turning it off with every item that you add to your index. So just to quickly review how you first add all of your entries. You're going to highlight one in the text, come to the references tab and Mark entry. Make sure that the text of that entry is exactly as you want it to appear and mark all throughout your document. You'll notice right away It added that hidden code in the background and then you can go ahead and close.

And on this top page just to finish that one off, and then go ahead and mark Jimmy Page as well. And Mark all throughout the document. Easy peasy right? Now, when it's time to add your index at the end and you've marked all of your citations, hop on over to the end of your book, add an extra page at the end, I'm going to turn off that show hide feature. So it just appears truly blank at the moment. And you're going to love how easy this is.

So in the meantime, I have added index entries throughout the book. And we're going to spin back over here to the references tab. And this time, instead of marking entries, we're simply going to insert index. It will open up and ask us a couple of questions we can choose from some template formatting possibilities. Just going to use the main one here. And you can choose how many columns you would like your index to take up, I'm going to choose two.

And if you would like indented entries, or run in entries, and I'm going to choose indented here, but you're free to play around with this. And you can also modify any of the settings here the fonts that are chosen, just as we've modified other headings in our style section before. The index entries are also another style setting that you can access. And when you're done making those changes, click and wait and voila. Your index is inserted with all the page numbers, super duper. Now, you may find that there are a couple of places where you want to clean it up a little bit.

I saw one that came through as bold because the first time that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was indexed, if In boldface, so I'm simply going to highlight that text and turn off the bold feature, you can make your selections just that simple for yourself as well. Then do some spot checks. Now, word of warning, if you make substantive changes within your text, after you've created your index, don't panic. All you need to do is come back to the references tab. Once you're done making those changes, and click Update index, it will go through and update all of the entries with the brand new page numbers and you're set to go. Just double check, make sure everything came through in the right font.

I see us a couple of instances where I want to set it back to Georgia and check my font size. Here. For example, this one's a little bit larger, I had some entries with jukebox, some with jukeboxes, some with lowercase. I'm just going to combine those into one single entry and double check everything. But this is going to be substantially easier for you than going one at a time and searching your document and grabbing those page numbers. Very nice simple easy way you can integrate an index into your document without paying for additional indexing software which can be quite pricey.

Even though it has some fantastic ease of use. This I think you'll find at the price of zero dollars and zero cents really hits the mark.

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