MS Word embedded indexing

There are various software methods of embedding index entries in text; Microsoft Word is just one of these. This workshop will give you an understanding of the process and implications of embedding index entries using the Microsoft Word index interface and will inform your use of other programs. It covers basic functions and includes exercises with guidance and videos showing processes.

The workshop can be taken at any time and is useful not just for students members but also those further on in their indexing career.

It is recommended for all students on Module D of the SI training course and compulsory for Module D students who started the course after 1 January 2016.


The workshop covers:

  • What an embedded index is
  • How to create, format, and edit an index in Word
  • How to override the automatic sort
  • How to include locator ranges

The workshop is very straightforward and should be easy to follow. To work through it in some detail will probably take 5-6 hours (depending on individuals). Upon submission of a Completion Exercise, involving the creating a short index, the participant will receive tutor feedback on any problems apparent in the index as well as a Completion Certificate.

The certificate also entitles you to a follow-on presentation: Embedded Indexing in MS Word: Advanced Features. This describes more complex features not normally required for a straightforward embedded index, including multiple sequences, specialist locators, multiple files and repairing corrupt files and using other software to help. This second presentation is provided for information; there are no additional exercises.

Workshop delivery

  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Handout providing additional help
  • Exercises to practise basic processes
  • Video demonstrations of processes

The presentation exercises, handout and completion exercise are all provided as files sent out by the SI Office, but the videos are embedded in a dedicated course webpage to which you will be given access.

Workshop requirements

You need to have a computer running MS Word 2003, 2007 or 2010 as the index facility used is a function of this program. You can also use the index facility in later editions of Word but there may be slight variations in the way the facility works to those described in the workshop.

Other document editing software such as OpenOffice is not covered: the Workshop has screenshots and videos specifically showing how to use the index function only in MS Word.

No additional embedded indexing software is required.


I found the first part of the course fairly straightforward, and did continue on to work through all the more advanced features, too… this online workshop was much better value for me than having to pay for travel to a training venue, with possible accommodation and the fee for the course on top of that. Thank you to the Society for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to using my newly-acquired embedded indexing skills! (Angie Hipkin)

 To book this workshop go to the online SI-Shop.