Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Computers are supposed to make life easy for us, right? And creating an index for a book seems like a great way for our computer to help us. So many folks look around InDesign for a button that says, make the index for me. Well, unfortunately indexes just don't work that way. For example, you can't just get a list of all the words that appear in the document and where they appear. That's a concordance, not an index. If you want something simple like that, you should get the Sonar Bookends InDex plug-in from Virginia systems. But if you want a real index, you are going to have to build it yourself, one index entry at a time. I have spent way, way too much time indexing my own books over the years. First, by using a thousand note cards and markers, and later using the tools in PageMaker, Quark Xpress, and finally InDesign. And I can tell you with some confidence that none of these tools make indexing pleasant.
InDesign's indexing features are pretty good, but they are nowhere near as powerful as the software that professional indexers use. That said, in this movie, I am going to give you a quick overview of how to add index entries to your document. Then in the next movie, I will cover how to actually collect all those entries to build the index itself. Before we get started though, I just want to point out that it's a good idea to wait until the text is pretty much done before you start indexing, because you don't want index entries to accidentally get moved, or cut or something like that.
Okay, I have got chapter two from my Chocolate book file open that I have been working with, and I am going to start indexing this chapter. So the key to indexing, not surprisingly is the indexing panel, so I will go to the Window menu, and choose index form the Type and Table submenu. Right now the index menu is blank, because I have no index entries in here. So it's time to start adding some. I see the word, Castilian here, this was originally some Spanish text I believe and I am going to select that and put it in our index. So I select it on the page, and I go into the index menu, and I click on the New Index Entry button, or I could I go to the Index flyout menu and choose New Page Reference, or press Command+7. By the way that Command+7 is new in the InDesign CS4, it used to be a different keyboard shortcut, but now in CS4 it's Command+7.
When I choose that, I get the new Page Reference dialog box here, and I can see that this is going to be indexed under the word Castilian. The type pop-up menu let's me control what is going to get indexed, or what page range has it where it's going to be in there. Is it just the current page, or is it maybe from here until the end of the story, or maybe the next number of paragraphs, what range does this word need to be indexed under? This also lets me control cross-references down here at the bottom, but I'll cover that later. For right now, I am just going to use Current Page.
I'll click OK, and we can see that the index panel suddenly gets a whole bunch of letters in here, but there is a little triangle next to C. If I click on that, it trolls down, and I can see that the word Castilian is now in my index. I will click on that triangle, and I can see that it's indexed on page 5, which is the page that I am currently on. Let's do some more. How about the word Chocolate? Chocolate is going to be throughout my whole document I know, because there is a whole book on chocolate. So I will select that, I will click on the New Index Entry button, and I can see that I have it listed here. Now in this case the word chocolate shows up so much in my document that it's hardly worth indexing it.
But I am going to put it in my index, and I am going to choose Suppress Page Range. That means, it will be in the index, but there won't be any Page numbers after it. So why would I do that? Well, let's take a look. I'll click Okay, and then I am going to choose another word. How about qualities? This is going to be talking about the qualities of the chocolate perhaps, so I'll select qualities, and I will click on the new button, and we will see quality shows up here. I might as well index that right here. So I will go ahead and click Add, and that adds it to the index, but it also keeps the dialog box open.
Now I am going to click on this down arrow, which moves it to the second level entry. So what I am I going to put at the first level? Well why don't we out chocolate there? I could simply type the word chocolate, but just in case I might get it wrong, why don't I go down here to this list, and I can see that there is a little triangle next to the letter C, and I can open that up and see all the index entries that I currently have under C. I want chocolate to be my first level entry here. So I am going to double-click on it. When you double-click on an item down here, it automatically gets added as the top level entry.
So now my first level entry will be chocolate, and the second level entry will be qualities. In this case, I am going to index this entire story, this whole chapter by choosing to end of story from the type pop-up menu. I will click OK, and let's go to check that out, under chocolate, there us a second level entry called qualities, and under qualities there is this entire page range. The number 5 in parenthesis right here simply indicates that this number will be suppressed, but the index entry marker is on page five.
Now let's go to some of the other spreads, I will press Option Page Down, or Alt page down on Windows to go to the next spread. I'll look around, and here is the word elements. Why don't we get that? I'll just drop that in there quickly. Elements, good. Click OK. Let's keep going through. How about over on the next spread? Putrefaction. That's a wonderful word for an index. Let's get that in there as well, Putrefaction. I wonder if it shows up in other parts of the document, just in case it does, I won't choose Add, but I will choose Add All. Add All basically is like doing a find throughout the whole document for this word.
I'll click Add All, it goes to the whole document, and see if that word shows up any place else in the document. And it indexes it automatically. I will click done, and we better put Cheese in there too. That's great. Let's add all the cheese entries. Click done, and let's move forward a little bit here, and keep going until we find some more text. Oh Confection, confection is a good one. Now we don't have that in our Cs yet, I can see that in the index entry. So I will add that, this too I will Add All, and why don't I also set up a cross-reference? Because I wonder if someone might search for confection with the word sweets.
When you are making an index, you really need to think about what somebody else, what the reader will be looking for. So let's say, the reader might think of this in terms of the word Sweets, so I am going to delete this, and just type in sweets, and under sweets I want them to have a cross reference to confection. So I typed sweets in here, and the type pop-up menu should be set to C. Here we go, sweets, C, what? What should it be? Again, I could just type Confection in here, but just in case I do a typo it will be easier for me to open this C letter down here, that little triangle next to it, and just drag the word Confection up into that field. Here we go. If I had double-clicked on Confection, remember it would have moved up here, and replaced the word sweets as the first level entry. So I didn't want to do that, I just wanted to drag it up into this referenced field here. So now I have a cross reference in my index.
I'll click OK, and we can see that it's in there. I'll just scroll down to S, look in there, I am going to see sweets, see Confection, okay, we have added some index entries. Now in the next movie, we are going to take all of these index entries we have created, and actually build the index itself.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 50941 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 38674 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81570 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 11589 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.