How to insert Word index

Insert a table of contents in Word

If you want to know how to insert a table of contents in word, in the next chapters I will explain how to do this both through the Microsoft Word desktop software for Windows and macOS, and through Word Online and the Word app for smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft Word

How to insert Word index

Let's start with the classic summary, also called Content index. To insert this type of index into your document you must mark the beginning of the various chapters and sub-chapters using the appropriate buttons in Word.



If you have not already done so, then select the title of each chapter and select the item 1 title from the card Home of the program to make it usable in the summary. If the document also contains second and third level chapters (therefore sub-chapters), highlight them too with the mouse and "signals" using the buttons 2 title e 3 title in Word.

When the operation is completed, go to the first page of the document (or in any case on the page where you intend to insert the summary) and add apage break by selecting the appropriate item from the tab Inserisci Word (so that the page where you are going to insert the table of contents does not contain other texts). In newer versions of Office, the page break option is “hidden” behind the button Pages located at the top left.

Now, select the tab References in the Word toolbar, click on the button Contents (top left) and choose the type of table of contents you want to insert in your document by selecting one of the templates automatic table available in the menu that appears. An index will be generated including all the chapter and sub-chapter titles you marked earlier and their page numbers. Up Mac you can also get the same result by going to the menu Insert> Index and table of contents (located at the top), by selecting the option Contents from the window that opens and choosing the summary style you prefer.



If you don't like the structure of the automatic tables, select the item Personalized summary from the menu Contents Word and set the "look" of your table of contents using the drop-down menus filler characters (to choose the lines or dots that must separate the title of a chapter from its page number), Size (to select the graphical appearance of the index) e Show levels up to (to choose how many levels of sub-chapters to include in the summary). Then click on the button OK and the index will be inserted into the document.

In the event that changes are applied to the document after the creation of the table of contents, fear not, Word is able to update the table of contents in a completely automatic way. All you have to do to update the titles and page numbers contained in the table of contents is to select the tab References Word and click the button Update summary which is located at the top left. Easier than that?

If you prefer, you can also create a summary to be managed in "manual" mode. In this case you have to go to the tab References Word and select the item Manual table from the menu Contents. A table of contents will be created whose titles and page numbers will be freely editable by you with a simple click of the mouse.

Word Online

How to insert Word index

As you may already know, Word is available in an online version that can be used directly from the browser (eg. Chrome, Firefox o Safari) at no cost. The only prerequisite for accessing it is a Microsoft account. Unfortunately it does not offer all the functions of Word for Windows or macOS, in fact it does not allow the creation of summaries, however it allows you to update the summaries of documents that already include them within them.



Therefore, if you want to update the table of contents of an existing document and you are using a computer on which Word is not installed, you can easily remedy the problem by connecting to OneDrive (the Microsoft cloud storage service, which I told you about in a more exhaustive way in this guide of mine), by clicking on the button Go to my OneDrive and dragging the file to be edited into the browser window. Once the upload is complete, double-click the name of the file you just uploaded to OneDrive and it will open in Word Online.

At this point, all you have to do is make the desired changes to the document, click anywhere in the summary to be updated, select the tab References Word Online (top left) and click the button first Contents e poi quello Update summary, in order to update the summary.

The changes will be automatically saved to OneDrive. If you want to download the document offline, instead, click on the button Fillet located at the top left, select the item Save with name from the menu that opens, click on the button Download a copy and finally, su Download.

Word for smartphones and tablets

How to insert Word index

Word is also available as an application for Android (also on alternative stores) and iOS / iPadOS and is free for all devices with dimensions equal to or less than 10.1 ″ (on larger devices you need to subscribe to the service Microsoft 365, which has prices starting from 7 euros / month). Like Word Online, Word for Android and iOS also offers a limited set of functions (when compared to that offered by Word for Windows and macOS), so it allows you to update existing summaries but not to create new ones.



To update the table of contents of an existing document in Word for Android or Word for iOS, start the application (if you have not yet installed it on your device, proceed through the links I have provided you a moment ago), perform the login to your Microsoft account (if you don't have one yet, create it) and go to the section apri to select the document with the table of contents to update. You can select a file hosted on the memory of your smartphone or tablet or stored on one of the cloud storage services supported by the application, such as OneDrive, dropbox o Google Drive.

Once the document is open, make the desired changes to it, then make a long tap anywhere on the summary and select the item Update from the menu that appears on the screen: by doing so, the table of contents will automatically update according to the content of the document. The changes will be saved automatically by clicking on back arrow located at the top left.

Insert an index into Word

How to insert Word index

Now let's see how to insert Word index, an analytical index to be precise. As a first step you have to select the phrases and keywords you intend to insert in the index and "mark" them using the appropriate function of the Microsoft software.

So highlight with the mouse a phrase or a word, go to the card References Word and click on the button Mark entry located at the top right. In the window that opens, make sure that in the field Main item the selected phrase or word is set and choose whether to insert only the selected occurrence in the index by clicking on the button Mark, or whether to mark all the pages of the document in which to buy the selected phrase / word, by clicking on the button Mark everything. If you want the page numbers to appear in Bold or italic, put the check mark next to the appropriate items and click on OK to save the settings.

After having marked all the phrases and words to be included in the index, go to the final page of the document (or in any case to the page where you want to insert the index) and add apage break by selecting the appropriate item from the tab Inserisci in Word.

At this point, go back to the tab References and click on the button Insert index which is at the top right (on Mac you can get the same result by going to the menu Insert> Index and table of contents placed at the top). In the window that opens, expand the drop-down menu to select i filler characters to be used to separate the index entries from the page numbers, the drop-down menu Formats to choose the style of the index and, if you want, put the check mark next to the item Page numbers aligned to the right to align the index numbers to the right.

Finally, choose how many column arrange the index using the appropriate text field (top right), choose whether to create an index returned o normal placing the check mark next to one of the two available items and click on OK to insert the index into the document.

Instead of page numbers, for some index entries you would like to see a cross-reference (ex. "See [cross reference]")? This can also be done. After calling the function Mark entry Word, remove the check mark from the item Current page and put it on Cross-reference, then type in the adjacent text field the name of the secondary item to be displayed in the index and that's it.

I would like to point out the possibility of limiting the search for occurrences in the index to a specific number of pages (in order to show the number of times that a phrase or a word appears in a certain part of the text rather than in the entire document). To do this you need to create a bookmark.

Then select with the mouse the content of the pages to which you want to limit the search, go to the tabInserisci Word and click the button Bookmark. So give your bookmark a name and click on the button Add but I will complete the operation.

Once the bookmark has been created, mark the items to be included in the index as explained above, put the check mark next to the item Page range on the page that opens and select the bookmark created before in the appropriate drop-down menu.

Like the table of contents, the index also includes an automatic update function that allows all changes applied to the document to be reflected in the index. To update an analytical index, go to the tab References Word and select the item Update index which is located at the top right.

Unfortunately neither Word Online nor Word for smartphones and tablets they offer the functions to create and update indexes, while allowing you to open - and modify - without problems files that include indexes within them.

How to insert index figures in Word

How to insert Word index

If you are using the Microsoft Word, know that you can also enter a index for the figures (this is not possible on Word Online and the Word app for smartphones and tablets).

To do this, all you have to do is click in the document in the exact point where you want the index to be inserted and then select the tab References up. At this point, click on the button Insert index of figures, to display a new screen.

Through the latter, you can customize the way this index should be displayed within the document. Customize it then using the appropriate options that are shown to you and then press the button OK to confirm the insertion of the index for the figures.

How to insert Word index

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