• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 21. Building More Effective Inde... > Building Indexes from Multiple Docum...

Building Indexes from Multiple Documents

You may be called on to create an index that includes entries from multiple documents—for example, chapters in a book, or components of a report created by different individuals. As with tables of contents (covered in Chapter 20), you have two alternatives:

  • You can incorporate each document in a master document, expand all the subdocuments to make them visible in the master document, and then insert your index at the end of the master document. Word searches each subdocument for index entries and incorporates them in an overall index. This approach takes a bit more time to organize up front, but gives you more control over how your documents work together. You can learn more about master documents in Chapter 19, “Master Documents: Control and Share Even the Largest Documents.”


    If you create an index for a master document, it usually makes the most sense to place the index in the master document itself, typically at the end of the document.

    If you choose to place the index in a subdocument, you may encounter trouble later in the editing process. In the event you open the subdocument outside the master document (for example, opening it from Windows Explorer instead of by clicking on its hyperlink within the master document), the index may not update properly. If you update an index in a subdocument opened in this fashion, only entries within the subdocument will be updated—Word will not be able to find entries in other subdocuments or the master document itself.

  • You can use { RD } (Referenced Document) fields to incorporate other documents into your indexes without using master documents. An { RD } field simply instructs Word to search another file and reflect its contents in any index or table of contents you create in your current document. Using { RD } fields can make for smaller, more manageable files, but it doesn't do anything to help you standardize styles, headers, footers, or page numbers throughout a large document.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint