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Deleting Index Entries

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Deleting Index Entries.

Word provides the tools for you to create complete indexes for your documents. After creating all the index entries, as described in other WordTips, you might decide later to remove an index entry. To do this, follow these general steps:

  1. Make sure you have Word set to display text that is formatted as hidden.
  2. Use Find and Replace (Ctrl+F) to locate the index entry you want to delete.
  3. Select the entire field, including the field braces, and press Del. The index entry is deleted.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each entry you want to delete.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (792) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Deleting Index Entries.

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Comments for this tip:

Nicholas    30 May 2014, 06:39
How do I delete all index items in one operation?
Rick    12 Nov 2012, 18:12
NB regarding my previous post, the method described removes ALL words/phrases from the index. I'm not sure how to remove multiple copies of one entry, but knowing would be useful.
Rick    12 Nov 2012, 17:54
With XE fields displayed, open Find and Replace.
In Find field enter ^d XE
leave Replace field blank.

[with thanks to Graham Mayor]
Derek    06 Nov 2012, 18:26
I followed the directions to delete an entry, but this method is cumbersome. Is it possible to work directly from the index and delete a word and all its references with one command? I am using Word 2007.
This would be an elegant solution.
Jeff    04 Nov 2012, 18:54
That works fine for one instance of the word being indexed, but what if I have "music" indexed 150 times in a document? Is there a way to remove all instances of the word "music" from the index at once?

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