Book Design Tip: Removing Index Entries in Microsoft Word

Unfortunately, Word does not offer an easy way to remove index entries. In order to delete an index entry in Microsoft Word, you need to delete the index entry code that is added to the word in the document itself. Deleting the word from just the index in the back will not work.

Below is a screenshot of the index markup code in some sample text.


In this case “dreamed” and “mocking” are marked up to be included in the index. If you no longer want “dreamed” to appear in the index you have to remove the { XE “dreamed” } code that follows the word. You can select it and delete like normal text. After removing the code, you can update the Index and that word will no longer appear. If the index entry appears on multiple pages, you have to remove this code on each page, not just once.

If you are not seeing the { XE “”} fields in your document, you need to turn on the “show hidden fields” option in Word. Click on File > Options then Display the check “Hidden text” as shown below.


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