The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

Embedded indexing with Word: new light on an old topic. Part 1: how to monitor creation of an index

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2020), 38, (2), 207–218.

Abstract

In the first of a series of articles on the under-exploited potential for using Microsoft Word as a tool for embedded indexing, the focus is on how to monitor an index while it is being created. It covers the use of window splitting, the advantages of having the index and the cross-references in separate files, how to keep track of recently added entries using highlighting, and how to index several documents that are part of one project. In addition, the use of the RD field is explained, and instructions for writing simple macros are given.

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References and review remarks

Browne, G. and Jermey, J. (2007) The indexing companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. On page 183, the authors state that, ‘Relatively little professional indexing is done in Word because it is too complex for hobbyists and not powerful enough for full-scale publishing.’ However, the indexing function is used by many hobbyists because the application of this function is relatively easy to learn, and as will be shown in following articles, it is very powerful and can meet almost all professional requirements. They also state, ‘Word indexing supports see and see also cross-references and one level of subheading’; however, it should be noted that in Word, nine (!) levels of subentry are possible. Google Scholar

Clendenen, J. (2003) ‘The trials and tribulations of embedded indexing with Word’, in S. Schroeder (ed.), Software for indexing. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., pp. 99–104. The author states that leading-function words are not ignored for sorting. I assume what meant is that they are not automatically ignored (on account of a list which is offered). That is right. However, there is no problem with function words, because you can easily set a special sort (by using a semicolon after a heading). By using pattern search, it is possible to change the sort order of all instances of a function word at once. She also says that page ranges can only be brought in via bookmarks and not in an intuitive way; however, when using the code-shifting method (being described in a later article), page ranges are no longer a problem. On page 103, she states, ‘There is no way to group related terms when making an index in Word’. However, the grouping of terms is possible, although somewhat limited. You have to work with a separate file for the index and simply use the search function (Ctrl-f) here. In the navigation pane then a subset of all entries containing the searched term is presented. Google Scholar

Haskins, L. (2010) ‘Embedded indexing: learning the smart way to index in Adobe FrameMaker and Microsoft Word’, in J. Perlman and E. L. Zafran (eds), Index it right! Advice from the experts, volume 2. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc. Google Scholar

Leise, F., Mertes, K., and Badgett, N. (2008) Indexing for editors and authors. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc. Google Scholar

Mauer, P. (2003) ‘Embedded indexing’, in S. Schroeder (ed.), Software for indexing. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., pp. 83–98. Google Scholar

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Author details

Greulich, Walter