There are a lot of resources out there that deal with creating and using an index in InDesign, but I've noticed there isn't nearly as much help when it comes to importing index entries from Word to InDesign (and seeing as how InDesign is such a
You can definitely transfer index entries from Word to InDesign--and fairly easily--though it does require a bit of cleanup. Here's how you get them in there:
- Import the Word document into InDesign*. In the Place dialog box, make sure to turn on the "Show Import Options" option.
*If you want to copy/paste the text in, then go to Preferences->Clipboard Handling and make sure "All Information" is selected in the "When pasting..." section. That should bring your index entries over along with the copied text (I've never tested it, though).
- In the Import Options box, make sure "Index Text" is selected.
- When InDesign finishes the import, you'll see your index entries in the index panel.
Ta da! HOWEVER, as I said, there are some issues:
- InDesign doesn't import page ranges, because InDesign deals with ranges in a different way than Word.
The way we've handled ranges in our indexing is to assign the beginning of a range an "RRA" code, and the end of the range an "RRZ" code (you can see an example of this in the above image). In FrameMaker, we had a script to combine those two separate entries into one single entry with a range of pages (eg, "accessories, netbook, 33-34").
We haven't figured out how to automate combining the range entries for InDesign yet (maybe in a Tagged Text or rich text file?), which means that for any entry that spans a range of pages, someone has to go in, figure out how many paragraphs (or pages) are between the RRA and RRZ entry, manually set the range for the RRA entry, then delete the "RRA" snippet, and then delete the RRZ entry entirely.
(and here's the entry, after all the cleanup):
- InDesign CS4 has another wonderful bug that really messes up subentries. It duplicates the main entry text in the subentry text (see the following screenshot), so you have to go in and delete all that duplicate text by hand, for each entry (ugh).
In spite of those issues, it's still a handy feature. Just make sure to build a couple days of index clean-up into your production schedule.