MS-Word / General Formatting

Marking a Range of Pages

If a particular topic is discussed for several pages in your document, you might want to create an index entry that marks a range of pages (for example, 26-29) rather than each page individually (26, 27, 28, 29).

Unfortunately, the procedure for marking page ranges isn't as slick as it could be. You have to mess around with the Word doohickey known as a bookmark. A bookmark is a name you can assign to a selection of text. You usually use bookmarks to mark locations in your document so that you can return to them later, but they have all sorts of more interesting uses. Marking a range of pages for an index is just one.

To use a bookmark to create a range of pages in an index, follow these steps (this process gets tricky, so hang on to your hat):

  1. Highlight the entire range of text you want included in the index entry's page range.
    A long discussion of a single topic could go on for pages, so be prepared.
  2. Open the Insert tab on the Ribbon and click the Bookmark button, found in the Links group. (This button is shown in the margin.)
    The Bookmark dialog box appears.
  3. Type a bookmark name to identify the bookmark.
    Bookmark names can be as long as 40 characters and can consist of any combination of letters and numbers. Spaces aren't allowed, but you can use an underscore to double as a space.
  4. Click Add to create the bookmark.
  5. Position the insertion point at the beginning of the bookmark and press Alt+Shift+X.
    The Mark Index Entry dialog box appears.
  6. Type the text you want to appear in the index in the Main Entry field.
  7. Select the Page Range option.
  8. Select the bookmark you just created from the Bookmark drop-down list box.
    All bookmarks in the current document appear in this drop-down list.
  9. Click the Mark button to create the index entry.

After you create the bookmark and an index entry naming the bookmark, the index includes the range of page numbers for the entry.

The location of various bookmarks in your document can be indicated by large brackets in the text. To activate these brackets, open the Word Options dialog box by clicking File → Options. Then select the Show Bookmarks option in the Show Document Content section of the Advanced tab.

Tip: Make the bookmark name as close to identical to the index entry text as you can. Use underscore characters rather than spaces: master_document for master document, for example.
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