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: Inconsistent Formatting in an Index.

Inconsistent Formatting in an Index

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2014)

Don has written a book using Word. Following the text is the index. The index is about 20 pages long and looks fine, except that Don is getting a few index entries appearing as bold text, perhaps 10 entries in total throughout the 20 index pages. He doesn't want them bold and has no idea why they are. If Don right-clicks on the entry and removes the bold it looks fine, but after he rebuilds the index by updating the field the bold reappears—always on the same 10 or so items. The related text in the body of the document is not bold. Don has deleted the words in the text, then rebuilt the index to eliminate that entry, then carefully re-typed the text in the manuscript making sure it is not bold. Sure enough, it becomes bold again in the index.

The give-away in this description is that the bold appears when the index is rebuilt. This means that there is a problem with the field codes used to mark index entries in the document. Here's what you should do, in general terms:

  1. Locate the XE field code for the index entry. (You may need to enable the display of hidden text in order to see the location of the XE fields.)
  2. Expand the entry so that you can see the underlying code.
  3. Select the entire field code (including the braces) and press Ctrl+Spacebar. This sets the code back to normal, default font characteristics.
  4. Make sure the XE field does not contain the \b switch. If it does, delete it.
  5. Collapse the XE field again.

It is also possible that one of the styles used for indexing (Index 1, Index 2, etc.) are set to bold and not regular text. To determine if that is the case, examine what styles are used in the offending index entries and then modify those styles to reflect how you want the text to appear.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6686) 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: Inconsistent Formatting in an Index.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Counting Groupings Below a Threshold

When analyzing data, you may need to distill groupings from that data. This tip examines how you can use formulas and macros ...

Discover More

Getting Information About Fields

Want to know what a certain field does and how to use it? Word's online help is surprisingly helpful in getting the ...

Discover More

Making All Occurrences Bold

Want to make instances of a given word or phrase bold throughout a worksheet? Here's a way you can make the change quickly.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Specifying an Index Page-Range Separator

When generating an index, Word normally uses a dash to indicate page ranges. You can change the character used for these ...

Discover More

Creating an Index Entry for a Range of Pages

Putting together an index for your documents can be challenging, but Word provides some great tools to make the task easier. ...

Discover More

Improper Index References

When indexing a document, you may get some funny results once in a while. If you get single index entries when you were ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share