Does your book need an index? Novels and collections of short stories or poetry don’t usually have them, but non-fiction books usually do. An index is generally found in the back of a book and lists keywords or phrases in alphabetical order with their corresponding page numbers.
Writer (like other word processors) provides a very convenient way to compile an automated index from index entries that you define in your document.
This chapter describes how to:
- Add index entries.
- Create an alphabetic index quickly.
- Customize the display of index entries.
- View and edit existing index entries.
Adding index entries
Before you can create an index, you must create some index entries. To do this:
- Either highlight the word or phrase to add to the index, or place the cursor at the beginning of the word or phrase. (If you want to add multiple words as one entry it is generally better to highlight the entire phrase.)
- Click Insert > Indexes and Tables > Entry to display a dialog similar to that shown below. You can accept the word or phrase shown in the Entry box or change it to whatever you want. If you placed the cursor at the beginning of a word, clicking on the Entry box inserts the word into the box.
- Click Insert to create the entry.
See Customizing index entries for an explanation of the fields on the Insert Index Entry dialog and how to use them.
You can create multiple entries without closing the dialog. For each one:
- Click at the location in the document that you want to index.
- Click again on the dialog.
- Change the entry if needed, and click Insert.
- When you are satisfied with the entries, click Close.
Note: If field shading is active (see Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org> Appearance > Text Document > Field shadings), when a selected word or phrase has been added to the index, it is shown in the text with a gray background. Index entries whose text is different from the text in the document are marked by a small gray rectangle.
Tip: You can also open the Insert Index Entry dialog by clicking the Entry icon on the Insert toolbar.
Creating an alphabetic index quickly
Now that there are index entries, you can create the index.
Although indexes can be customized extensively in Writer, most of the time you will need to make only a few choices. To create an index quickly:
- Place the cursor where you want to add the index and click Insert > Indexes and Tables > Indexes and Tables.
- In the Type box on the Index/Table page of the Insert Index/Table dialog box, select Alphabetical Index.
- In the Options section, you may want to uncheck the Case sensitive checkbox.
- Click OK.
Writer does not update an index automatically when you add, delete, or change the text of index entries. You need to update the index manually. To do this, follow the steps outlined in “Updating a table of contents’.
This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, version 3.0.