How to make an index for a book
How to Make a (Really Good) Book Index in Word | TCK PublishingAlmost every person I talk to about indexing asks me the same question: How do you write an index? Even readers who are enthusiastic users of indexes ask me this question. Indexes areubiquitous in nonfiction books, yet people rarely stop to consider how or who makes this document. Perhaps you have faced this dilemma, as the author of a nonfiction book. You believe that an index will add value to your book, and maybe you have even sat down to write an index only to get lost in the details.
The sublime joy of making a book index
The main idea of the book index is to help the reader find information quickly and easily. Do not make things hard for your book reader. Michael Kang Herbalist www. In the simplest terms, a book index is simply a key to locating information contained in a book. It is also known as back-of-the-book index, as it is mostly found at the end of the book. The words of the Index are sorted Alphabetically. Here is an Index screenshot below : Book index sample The Index words should be relevant and of interest to a possible reader of the book, so they can easily guide him to what he may be looking for in the book.
Having made an index for several different nonfiction print books over the years, I have a set of suggestions for how to create an index. I prefer to do this manually. If the word is used times, I must then sort out which of the are most relevant. Also, search tools are sometimes too literal. This seems like more work than it is. The hardest part is just to get started.
If you have finished writing your book then you should be willing to create an index for it. The back-of-book index is a main component of any successful book. Creating the book index yourself is not hard if you know the rules and steps you should follow to accomplish it in a professional way. I will mention 10 important tips you should know before starting your index. The main target of those tips is to know where to start from when creating the book index. Before start creating your Index write 10 to 20 most important subjects your book is talking about, then when you select your Index words check if each word is related to one of those subjects or not. Mostly the reader will not need to look for that word in the Index.
Making an Index in Word
Indexing is the reverse: reviewing content and thinking of the idea people would use to identify it. For me, making an index is like skiing moguls or playing music. You see the unsuspected connections, surprising references, and themes threaded throughout the text. Note: my technique does not match how most indexers work — this is unique to me. Page proof of a book, with final pagination. This is serious content work; indexers get paid far too little for it.
I believe I first used the index option in Word back in Word 2. Which is a good thing, because it's one of those exceptions where Microsoft got it pretty much right the first time around. You make an index in word by tagging words for the index, and then using the "Insert" menu to insert the complete index when you are done. You can still add to the index after that, and best of all, Word recomputes the page numbers that go with each index entry every time you update the index. The main problem most would-be indexers encounter is figuring out how to mechanically mark the entries. You just highlight each new word you want in the index with your mouse and hit Ctrl-Alt-X, which pops up the "Mark Index Entry" shown to the right.