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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2023 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Oct 5, 2020

WordPerfect Tips
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Indexing documents with WordPerfect

Basic information on how to use the index feature:

bullet Overview

bullet How to create an index in WordPerfect

bullet Manual method 

•  Marking words

•  Define and generate the index

bullet Concordance method 

•  Creating a concordance file (several methods)

•  Using the concordance file

•  Marking items directly in the concordance to use as Subheadings in the index

•  Limitations (item length)

•  Capitalization and hyphenation 
bullet Tips on indexing

•  Index codes

•  Phrases

•  Subheadings

•  Organizing subheadings

•  Formatting the index after it has been generated

•  Dividing the index

•  Multiple indexes for the same document

•  Highlighting indexed words

•  Limiting the length of concordance file entries

•  Using a generated index for future use

•  Adding index entries that reference topical locations 

•  Combining concordance files

bullet Create a Glossary of Terms with the Index feature

Sources on indexing:

•  Perhaps the most cited reference guide on indexing is the Chicago Manual of Style.

There is an online edition and a free 30-day trial.

A separate — and extremely detailed and lengthy — chapter is devoted to Indexes.

Bear in mind that even more expensive and powerful indexing software (compared to WordPerfect) still requires the skill and talent of a human.

•  For the non-professional indexer, you can try searching the internet (or your local bookstore) for resources about the general rules and mechanics of indexing that are better suited to your needs.

Related items:

bullet How to create a
Table of Contents
and how to automatically include items in it

bullet How to create WordPerfect Lists (which can also supplement a Table of Contents)

bullet See Corel's support site for creating a Table of Authorities here and here; also, Corel sells a program called Perfect Authority (a general support article is here)

Navigating the document while editing -

If you have marked items for inclusion in an Index, they will help you quickly navigate the document while editing it by using the Document Map feature (released with WordPerfect 11) located on the View menu.

The Document Map can also detect items marked for inclusion in a Table of Contents or a Table of Authorities.

Note that the Document Map sidebar stays open until you close it with the "x" button. And you don't have to generate a Table of Contents or an Index to make use of this feature. It just uses the hidden TOC/TOA/Index markers embedded in the document text or in a style code.

For more information see WordPerfect's Help (F1) and Search for "Using the document map".

Please note:

¤  Menu choices on this page refer to the choices listed on a <WordPerfect> menu (you can right-click on the top menu bar to choose a menu type). If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu the menu choices described below might be absent from that menu (but not from the program) or they might be found elsewhere on the <Microsoft Word> menu. See here for more.

¤  If you read this page from start to finish you probably will see minor duplication of some material and links. This is because there is no way to know where visitors — of various levels of familiarity with this feature — will "land" on this page when using external links. Your understanding is appreciated.


In WordPerfect, an Index is a section of text at the end of a document that contains a user-defined alphabetical list of words and phrases, and (typically) the page numbers where they can be found in the document.

Tip: For a Table of Contents and other related structures such as a WordPerfect List or a Table of Authorities, see here (and see the left sidebar on that page).

The items in the index section are called index entries. They are automatically created with the index feature (Tools, Reference, Index), which scans the document for words that you previously marked (and/or listed in a separate file) for inclusion in the Index.

If you make changes to the document that might change specific items or page numbering for any index entries, a simple option (
Tools, Reference, Index, Generate) will re-create the Index quickly and automatically.

How to create an Index in WordPerfect

There are some general methods you can use to create an Index for a document using WordPerfect's Reference Tools feature.

•  You can use the traditional manual method to mark each item you want included in the Index and then have the program generate (i.e., create) the index.  -or-

•  You can use the concordance file method to automatically mark the words in the document that are on the concordance list and then have the program generate the Index. This might be particularly useful for long document lengths, though it can be used with any document.  -or-

•  You can use both methods together to index the same document. Some users start with one of the first two methods and then employ the other method before generating the final index.
Side note

There is a third method (independent of the manual and concordance methods) that you can use to create an Index. It uses a macro (IndexList) to process an existing "source list" of words and phrases added to the bottom of the document by searching the document for the words and then adding page numbers to them in the list.
    - The main advantage is that it is easy to use for short documents requiring only a simple index.
    - The main disadvantages are [1] it does not create hyperlinked page numbers; [2] you need to manually create the source list of words (hence it's best for short lists); and [3] the resulting index is not as easily re-indexed later (e.g., after making changes in the document). Still, it might be suitable for simple, one-off projects. See IndexList in the Library for the macro, the method, and some tips and limitations.

Tip:  You can also reformat a generated Index as a Glossary of Terms as discussed below.

Manual method

To manually mark words to be included as entries in an Index you need to -

(1) select the desired word or short phrase in the document;

(2) mark the selection using Tools, Reference, Index (Step 1 below); then when you are finished selecting and marking,

(3) define and generate the Index (Step 2 below) — typically on a new, empty page at the end of the document.

Here's how to do it, step-by-step.

Step 1: Mark words and phrases you want in your Index.

[Step 1a]  Click on Tools, Reference, Index.

In WordPerfect 11 and later, this opens a floating Reference Tools dialog.
[In WordPerfect 10 and earlier, rather than this dialog the program places a toolbar at the top of the screen.]

Reference Tools dialog


☼  It is not necessary to open this Reference Tools Index feature before selecting text (Step 1b below), but it might be more convenient.

☼  The floating dialog can be dragged (by its title bar) to a different screen location — or it can even be docked at the top or bottom of the WordPerfect editing screen by dragging it upward or downward. (It does take more space than a typical toolbar or property bar.) If docked, you can drag it to the other location, or back into the main text area to float it again.

☼  You can open and close this dialog as often as needed to mark more text (Step 1d below).
[Step 1b]  Select the text in the document for the index entry with your mouse or keyboard.


In most instances your text selection will not present a problem; however, the selection should be limited to 63 characters, including spaces. Extra characters beyond this limit will be truncated in either one of the Reference Tools dialog fields (see next step).

[However, once the index is actually generated (in Step 2 below) you can edit the index area itself and manually modify any entry that you feel should be longer than 63 characters. Do this after the document is finalized, since any regeneration of the index will overwrite your edits.]

[Step 1c]  Click inside the Heading or the Subheading field of the Reference Tools dialog (or toolbar, in WP10 and earlier versions).

WordPerfect will then insert the selected text into that field.

Reference Tools dialog with item inserted

Heading becomes a main item in the index and is a mandatory entry.

A Subheading is optional and is indented below the Heading in the generated index. (Note: Unlike some standalone indexing programs, WordPerfect supports only these two levels. But you can format the index in several ways — including creating a Glossary.)

If you are marking the text as a Subheading either type the Heading into the Heading field or use the Heading field's down-arrow button ("drop list") to choose an existing Heading. (You might need to click in the Subheading field again to choose the Subheading, depending on the order of entry in the fields.)

You can edit the text label in any Heading or Subheading field to modify it. When the index is generated (Step 2) the index entry in the Index area of your document will reflect the modification, but the actual item in the body of the document will not change. This can be useful if the selected text in the Heading or Subheading field isn't as meaningful or as descriptive as you would like it to be for that particular material, or if you would like to add punctuation marks. [The index code that is placed in the document when you mark the item (see below) will contain the revised text descriptor, as you can see by placing the cursor in front of the code in Reveal Codes, but the location of the code in the document will be the same as when you selected the item.]

Example [from WordPerfect X8's Help]: "You can edit the text for an index entry and still reference the word you select. For example, if you select "cherries" in a document but want the index entry to be "fruit," you can type "fruit" in the Heading list box [and "cherries" in the Subheading box]."

Another example [as shown in the image above]:
If the Heading is "Shakespeare" you can change it to "Shakespeare, William" (without quotes). It will not affect any "William Shakespeare" also marked with that revised Heading in the document; it will simply display the name in the generated index as "Shakespeare, William".

Be sure to limit any entry in these two fields to 63 characters, including internal spaces in names or other phrases.

Note: In some early WordPerfect versions, selecting normally hyphenated words (i.e., words separated by a [- Hyphen] code which is inserted when you press the hyphen key) produces a Heading or Subheading label with a symbol (€) instead of a hyphen. Simply delete the symbol and replace it with a normal hyphen. Both the index entry and the word in the document will then be identical.

If you have one or more Subheadings marked under a particular Heading, the generated index will present them in alphabetical order and list page numbers for the Subheading(s) only.

Exception: You can mark a word in the document as a Heading (or add it in a concordance file) as a separate entry. When that word appears by itself in the document it will also be followed on the same line in the generated index by page numbers — even if you have marked other items with that word as a Heading followed by one or more Subheadings. See the Subheading tips below for an example.


☼  In the Subheading field (at least), keep the Subheadings relatively short, or else WordPerfect might insert line breaks ([Ln Brk]) on the Index page when it is generated, causing Subheadings to break apart from their dot leaders (the dots that separate the Subheadings from their page number(s)).

☼  You can easily adjust the amount of Subheading indentation by setting a new tab at the top of the index area.

☼  See also Subheadings in the main Tips section below for a tip on reversing given names and surnames for people, the order of parts of phrases, etc.
[Step 1d]  Click the Mark button on the Reference Tools dialog.

This inserts an [Index] code in the document at the beginning (i.e., to the left side) of the word or phrase to be indexed. [Tip: Use Reveal Codes to view what is happening.]
[Step 1e]  Repeat with other words or phrases.


☼  You can open and close Reference Tools dialog as often as needed to mark more text (Step 1d). When open, it will remain open to allow you to navigate the document and mark various items. As noted above you can drag (or dock) the dialog to relocate it.

☼  The next time you need to mark the same word or phrase that was previously marked in the document, you can just place your cursor in front of that (currently unmarked) instance and then choose the word or phrase from either the Heading or Subheading drop list; then click Mark. You can, of course, simply select the word or phrase as you did before.

☼  With manual marking, you will need to mark every instance of the same word/phrase in the document; otherwise, unmarked instances of the word/phrase will be missing page references to them in the final Index. (After you mark the first occurrence, you can use Edit, Find and Replace to search for additional occurrences of a word or phrase.)

    Related tip: If you index words or phrases that occur frequently in the document, instead of manually marking each one you may want to include these items in a concordance file (see the concordance file method below). This saves time and effort, since you don’t need to locate all instances of those words in the document to mark them for indexing. It should improve accuracy, too, since you can leave it to WordPerfect to find all instances of the words included in a concordance (assuming the concordance was properly created).

☼  Index entries are case-sensitive: A separate entry for each variation of the word that you mark is inserted into the generated index, which can result in multiple index entries for the same basic word. However, there are times when this is desirable: See the concordance method's Capitalization section below for more information.

Step 2: Define and generate the Index.

Two points to keep in mind:

•  You must define and then generate the Index for it to appear in your document, as described below.

•  If you make changes to the document later — such as by adding more items to be indexed or by adding or deleting pages — you should generate the Index again ("re-generate" it) to incorporate the changes. (But see the tips below about regenerating a document.)

[Step 2a]  Move the insertion cursor to the end of the document.

Then press <Ctrl+Enter> to create a new page.

[Step 2b]  Type a title at the top of the new page (typically, "INDEX").

[Step 2c]  In the Reference Tools dialog (or toolbar, in some early versions) click the Define button on the bottom right side of the dialog's Index tab. (See image in Step 1a above.)

[The image in Step_1c above shows this button. If you cannot see it, this might be because of a user setting in Windows; see Footnote 1 below.]

The Define Index dialog will appear.

Define Index dialog

Optional buttons and fields on the Define Index dialog

All options below apply to the current document only.

•  The Position button gives a choice of no numbering, text with numbers with and without dot leaders, etc.

•  The Page Numbering button gives the choice of custom page numbering: It places one or more text-like format codes in the field, where you also can add (e.g.) some text adjacent to the code(s).

•  If you click the Change button in the Current Style area you can edit either or both of the Index1 and Index2 styles, the same as you can edit any other style. For most indexes, this is not necessary.

See Footnote 4 for more details on the Position button, Page Numbering button, and Change button options.

•  If you want to use a Concordance file — either by itself or in addition to any previously marked words — type the concordance's filename in the Filename field or use the folder button to the right of the field to browse for the concordance file.


The Create button just under the Filename field (WordPerfect 11 and later) is the program's way of helping you create a draft version of a concordance file in case you don't already have one.

When you use it, it "calls" — i.e., transparently plays — the Corel-included macro, Concord.wcm.

The draft document the macro produces must first be edited to remove unwanted words, then saved to disk before it can be used as a concordance.

However ... you may want to use the WordList macro to create the draft of the concordance file instead, since WordList should work better due to changes Corel made to the program in recent years in the way the program currently treats hyphens, hard spaces, en-dashes, and WordPerfect symbols. (This change "broke" parts of Concord.wcm — in fact, Concord.wcm would not even play in some recent WordPerfect versions under Windows 7!). This macro and several other methods you can use to create a concordance file are discussed below.

[Step 2d]  Click OK on the Define Index dialog.

WordPerfect clears (deletes) any previous index entries from the document and returns you to the Reference Tools dialog, then it inserts a set of special index codes at the current cursor location:

[Def Mark][Gen Txt]..[Gen Txt]

It also inserts a temporary text marker, "<<Index will generate here>>," 
between the pair of [Gen Txt] codes.
Note: If you deliberately or accidentally delete those special codes you will get an error message if you try to generate the Index again ("There are no codes in this document that can be generated...."). In such case, you will need to Define the index again by using the instructions in Step 2c above.

[Step 2e]  Click on Generate on the Reference Tools dialog.

The Generate dialog will appear, which lets you save any changes to subdocuments (if any), or tells the program to build hyperlinks (if any) — such as to page numbers in an Index, Table of Contents, cross references, etc.

Generate dialog

Tips related to this dialog's OPTIONS

Most users probably will accept both options unless

(A) there is a reason not to save changes to any linked subdocuments

    - or-

there is a reason not to create hyperlinks from the index to the related pages in the document, such as when the document is to be printed on paper and hyperlinks would be useless (and the underlines in them might be distracting).

Related tip: You can remove blue underlines from email addresses, web site URLs, and other hyperlinks from a WordPerfect document that is destined to be printed on paper; see here. Note that removal affects all hyperlinks in the document, not just indexed items.

Notes and tips related to GENERATING the document

¤  If you re-generate an Index it replaces (deletes) any existing index entries (i.e., everything between the [Def Mark][Gen Txt]..[Gen Txt] codes) with the new index.

This is because the entries/page numbers were automatically generated in the first place, and the program assumes changes have been made in the document that need to be included in the newly re-generated version. (The same thing happens with a Table of Contents or WordPerfect Lists.)

[N.B.: If you happened to create (i.e., start) a header, footer, or watermark inside the Index area the codes that establish these items will be deleted from the Index area if you re-generate the Index. Hence be sure your cursor is outside the Index area defined by the pair of [Gen Txt] codes if you wish to start a header, footer, or watermark at that location.]

¤  Can you edit the generated Index?

Yes, but: Since the Index is mostly ordinary lines of text surrounded by special format codes, some users edit the index for various reasons of clarity or style. It is generally best to wait for the final draft of the document,after you have finished indexing, before editing or formatting the Index itself. Otherwise, your fancy formatting likely will be lost and you will need to do it over. (When the program re-generates the Index it replaces both the existing Index and any custom formatting that you added to the index text areas — see previous paragraph).


•  You can add capital letters to alphabetically separate the body of the Index with a small macro such as Alphabetical List Divider.wcm. But again, this is best done after the Index itself is in its final form.

•  Some formatting can survive re-generation: If you wish to create a multi-column Index, you can generate it and then select all material in the index including the aforementioned [Def Mark][Gen Txt]..[Gen Txt] codes. Then use Format, Columns, which should put a pair of column definition format codes around the whole Index and its index definition codes. (Note: After generating or re-generating the document, if the columns revert to a single column just re-apply the new, inclusive column formatting.)

Tip: This can also be done in a way that automatically creates the multi-column index before the index is generated. It involves using an old trick which embeds the column [Def Mark] code inside a Character style. See Footnote 8 for a step-by-step method.

¤  Note the small checkbox at the bottom of the Reference Tools dialog in recent versions of WordPerfect: Auto Generate.

WordPerfect X4's (F1) Help describes Auto Generate this way:

"...You can ensure that the index is generated before you save or print a document by clicking Tools > Reference > Index, and enabling the Auto Generate check box in the Reference tools dialog box. When you save or print a document, and if you have not generated the reference tools since last saving or printing, a warning is displayed."

•  If this warning (or reminder?) becomes annoying, simply disable this option.

•  Bug alert: In some earlier versions of WordPerfect this option can erroneously cause selected text to fail to print, and even cause the cursor to jump while saving a document. The remedy is the same: disable the option.

¤  If you change a marked word/phrase in the main document after the Index has been created:

Be sure to delete the index code ([Index]) adjacent to that marked word/phrase (use Reveal Codes and delete the code; you can just drag it from the Reveal Codes window).

Then manually select and re-mark the revised word(s).

On the other hand, if you used a concordance file containing the original word/phrase you can just edit the concordance to mirror the item you changed in the document so that it will be picked up properly using that concordance file. (No need to remove the [Bookmark: Hyperlink] code unless you want to tidy up that area of the document since re-generation using the revised concordance will re-mark it again with the proper code.)

Finally, re-generate the Index again so that WordPerfect “picks up” the newly marked item(s).

[Step 2f]  Click OK.

The Index will be generated (i.e., created) at the location set by the Define button in Step 1.

Concordance file method


Normally, a concordance file is a separate, ordinary WordPerfect file (.WPD) saved on disk that contains a list of the words and short phrases — each separated by a hard return (i.e., by using the <Enter> key to produce a [HRt] code in Reveal Codes) — that you want to automatically include in the document's Index when you generate it, assuming the words in that file are also found in the document.

In other words, it helps create an Index. Rather than having to manually mark individual words in a document for later indexing you can use this "source" file to mark specific words in the document that you need to have indexed. Then when you use the Index feature, you simply tell it where the concordance file resides on your disk and the program will use its contents to add entries to the resulting index.

Notes and tips

¤  As mentioned, you can use both the manual marking method and the concordance file method to index the same document.

¤  If the words in the concordance do not appear in the main document they are ignored when the concordance is used. Thus, they will not appear in the Index. Hence the concordance file can be used just for the current document, or at a later time, in one or more other (usually related) documents.

¤  Concordance files can also be combined into a single concordance, which could then be more widely applicable to various documents — typically documents of a related type or purpose.

¤  A concordance — especially if alphabetized (i.e., sorted alphabetically) — makes maintaining the words to be indexed easier.

Creating a concordance file (5 methods)

In no particular order, here are some methods to create — or help create — a concordance. There are some redundancies in describing the methods since some tasks can be combined. Which method(s) you use is a matter of your own preference.

Before using any of the methods below -

•  You can sort any unsorted list to alphabetize all or part of it, if desired, but alphabetical order for the listed items is not required by the program. However, sorting can be very helpful when editing to uncover duplicates or problematic entries in the concordance file.

•  Be sure not to include extraneous text, leading or trailing spaces on any line, or format codes (bold, italic, tabs, tables, etc.).

•  See the sections below about limitations to a concordance and also about how to deal with some capitalization and hyphenation issues to take into account when creating the concordance.

* * *

[Method A]
Items to be indexed can be individually typed into the concordance document as plain text. 

Start with a new, blank WordPerfect document and type each individual word or phrase on its own line. All lines should end with a single hard return [HRt] — i.e., by pressing <Enter>. All items should be plain text, and not formatted (e.g., bold, italic, etc.).

You can optionally sort the list, if desired. Sorting is not required but can help identify duplicate items.

This is an easy method, and the list can be updated as you develop the document and make decisions on the items to index.


[Method B] An existing list of items to be indexed can be pasted into a new blank document — or even added it to an existing concordance file — as unformatted text with Edit, Paste Special, Unformatted text.

Each item in the list must be on its own line — i.e., each ending with a hard return ([HRt]) — and each must be relatively short (maximum = 63 characters including spaces).

You can optionally sort the list, if desired. Sorting is not required but can help identify duplicate items.


[Method C] A new alphabetized list of potential items to be indexed can be created from the document itself using a special macro.

The program (WordPerfect version 11 and later) can "call" a factory included concordance macro using the Create button on the Define Index dialog (see above) — but you might prefer to play the WordList macro referenced in the Tips below which can create a plain-text alphabetized list of every word that appears at least once in the document (with or without certain "minor" words or numbers).

Either way, the resulting list must then be trimmed to remove unwanted words so that it can be used as a functioning concordance (see following sections) or just be used to guide you to what needs to be indexed.


Instead of trimming out (i.e., deleting) unwanted words you can simply clip desired material directly from the WordList document into a new document that will, in turn, become your concordance file.

This alternative might be easier and/or lmore precise for some users than block selecting and deleting material from that initial list to trim it of unwanted items. (Mass deletions can sometimes produce mistakes.)

See Method D below.

The WordList macro method might be most useful with a long or complex document — e.g., a court transcript calling for a keyword index, a technical manual that needs an index, etc. — where you are not sure about which exact words might need to be indexed.

Note that extra words in a concordance are not a problem for the program because words in the concordance that are not also in the document will be ignored when the index is created using that concordance file.


[Method D] You can "clip" (i.e., copy) specific words or phrases from the document to be indexed (or any open document) to a separate document as plain, unformatted text, with each line item separated by one hard return.

This new document can then be used as (or added to) a concordance file.

You can optionally sort the list, if desired. Sorting is not required but can help identify duplicate items.

This method is quicker than Method A since you don't need to type the list, but probably most useful while proofing a section of the document (see third tip below).

Tips about clipping

Clipping (copying or moving) text can be made easier and quicker with the Clipper macro in the Library. It automatically uses a separate temporary document to hold the clips, switching back and forth between that document and your current document (including an open WordList document or any other open document).

Note: Be sure to clip all items as unformatted text and separated by one hard return (both of these are options on the Clipper macro's menu).

☼  Clipping words from the document to be indexed can also be used with the other methods above — e.g., you can add clipped items from the temporary Clipper file to an existing concordance file.

☼  It also might be especially convenient to use clipping after you have created one or more chapters or sections of a large document, since no doubt you will be editing it for content and/or errors at that point anyway. The Clipper macro is just a handy on-screen tool to facilitate the task of creating a concordance. The file created can then be appended to an existing concordance (and re-sorted if desired) to create the final edition to use to index the document.

☼  Instead of trimming (deleting) unwanted words from a large comprehensive word list (e.g., method [C] above), you could instead clip the desired items from that list into a new separate document. When saved, the latter would then become your functioning ("working") concordance file.


[Method E]
You can use an already generated Index as a concordance — or as the basis for one.

See the tip below for how to do it. This can save a lot of time and effort if you plan to remove all index codes from the main document that already contains the index, so that you can start indexing fresh, using a concordance file. The concordance created this way already contains most if not all items you wish to index, and you can simply add/delete more items before saving it to disk.

* * *


Each item in a concordance file should not exceed 63 characters, including (internal) spaces.

This is a limit imposed by the program. (See the limitations section below for some tips.) If there are any longer items the program will pop up an error when you attempt to create (generate) the Index itself.

The WordList macro (see next Tip below) has an option to automatically do this trimming for you.

Alternatively, you could use the author's TrimTo63 macro in the Library. It trims items in an open concordance document to a maximum of 63 characters per item.

Be sure not to include extraneous text, leading or trailing spaces on any line, or format codes (bold, italic, tabs, tables, etc.).


☼  The WordList macro on this site has a menu option to automatically create a plain alphabetical list of all words that appear at least once in the document. [WordList does not modify the current document in any way, since everything is done in a new document window.]

Then the alphabetical list created by that macro should be trimmed to eliminate words you do not want in the final Index. You need to trim the list or the resulting Index will contain every word in the document! (Some trimming can be done automatically by the WordList macro at run time — e.g., common or "minor" words such as articles, prepositions, non-currency numbers, and even "short" words.) (Alternatively, desired items from the list can be clipped to another document, as described in Method C above.)

Once saved to your disk, this edited file can then be used as a functioning concordance file. [N.B.: For those needing to index surnames followed by given names ("Smith, Bill") see the Subheadings tip below.]

☼  Moreover, a specific concordance file can be used in any document for which an Index is desired and where some — or all — words in that concordance might appear somewhere in the document. (If the words in the concordance do not appear in the document, they are ignored and will not appear in the Index.)

☼  Since this will become a very useful tool, save the concordance
file frequently as you edit it. You might even consider saving each iteration with a slightly different name. (See the MultiSav macro suite in the Library.)

Using the concordance file

Once created, the concordance file on disk can be used by the Index feature.

You must specify the file to use with the Tools, Reference, Index (tab), Define (button). This brings up the Define Index dialog where you can enter (or browse and select) the concordance file's path and file name in the dialog's Filename field:

Define Index dialog's Filename field

When you click OK on the Define Index dialog (not the Create button located  below the Filename field but not visible in the image above) the concordance file will become "active," internally linked to that particular document. You are returned to the Reference Tools dialog.

WordPerfect also clears any previous index entries from the document, and inserts special index codes at the current cursor location —  ([Def Mark][Gen Txt]..[Gen Txt]) — and also inserts a temporary text marker ("<<Index will generate here>>") between the [Gen Txt] codes.

You can then generate the Index directly from the Reference Tools dialog or from the Tools, Reference menu. WordPerfect will use the concordance file to search for items to be indexed, and if found, it will add index codes at those locations. It will then create (generate) the actual Index at the cursor location using the concordance-marked index codes and any manually marked index codes in the main document.

You can also quickly re-generate the Index without using the Define Index dialog, such as after you add or delete material from the main document, or add or delete items to the concordance file. Just use the Reference Tools dialog or the Tools, Reference menu selection. (Don't forget to save the concordance file before re-generating the index.)

If the concordance file is not present or not specified in that field, you will need to Define the Index again before you can re-generate it and the concordance items will be absent from the Index (unless you also marked some or all of them manually in the document, which would be unusual).

Two cautions

•  At this time I do NOT recommend using the Create button on the Define Index dialog located below the Filename field (not visible in the image above) to help create a concordance file.

The feature (i.e., the factory included Concord.wcm macro that it calls, which was introduced in WP10) is in my opinion no longer reliable in several recent WordPerfect versions due to the way the program currently treats hyphens, hard spaces, en-dashes, and WordPerfect symbols. These were changes made by Corel for various reasons, but it had the unfortunate effect of "breaking" that feature.

Instead, either use [A] the WordList macro (see above) to create a draft of the concordance file, or [B] create the concordance file manually (see above).

•  [From WordPerfect X8's Help (F1):] "The current document should not contain a table of contents or index [when creating a concordance file with the Create button]. If it does, the resulting concordance file will include all of the words and page numbers found in the table of contents and index. For optimal results, remove or relocate any existing table of contents or index before using the concordance utility [to create the concordance file]." [Bold and comments in brackets added.]

Note that this does not mean you need to remove or relocate these items when generating or re-generating a table of contents or an index. It simply means you should not create a concordance file with the built-in Concord macro or the author's WordList macro if there's a table of contents or index already present in the document. E.g., you don't want to index the index items later!

Marking items directly in the concordance to use as Subheadings in the Index 

As discussed in the manual method section above, if you manually mark words and phrases directly in the current document, you can mark them as either index Headings or Subheadings. In the index, Headings are the main word or phrase indexed, while one or more Subheadings might be indented under the Heading.

This type of marking can be done in addition to — or instead of — using a concordance file. The manual method is WordPerfect's "traditional" method, and it is often used with smaller documents.

However, you can also mark items in a concordance file. This makes sense, since the items in a concordance tell WordPerfect which words to look for in the document and, if found, to automatically add them to the generated Index. But without some way to specify which should be Subheadings the index entries for these items would all be Headings.

Hence the program gives you the ability to include index codes directly in the concordance document — just like you would do when manually marking the main document. In fact, you will use the same Reference Tools dialog to add the codes in the concordance.

Note that by default, each entry in a concordance file will appear as a Heading in the Index. You need do nothing more to the concordance file if all you need is a simple, one-level Index (i.e., Headings only).

But you can also mark any entry in the concordance as a Subheading. This will produce two levels in the generated Index: a Heading and a Subheading under it.

You can even mark a concordance entry twice, for use as both a Heading and a Subheading.

Marking the concordance document is discussed under the Subheadings tip below, where examples and tips are given.

Codes in the main document

Each of these two methods — manual marking and using a concordance file — produces a different indexing code in Reveal Codes, as described in the Tips below, but they do the same job of listing those items in the generated Index.

Limitations to a concordance

Note that concordance file entries (i.e., line items) should be limited to 63 characters in length, including spaces, or you will get an error message from the WordPerfect program when you try to use the concordance during indexing. 


Because of this WordPerfect-imposed limit, there is an option on the WordList.wcm macro's menu to automatically trim entries in the word list to 63 characters (or fewer, if there are trailing spaces).

Unfortunately, at this time the WordPerfect 11-X7 shipping macro, Concord.wcm, does not do any such trimming. Therefore, you may be better off using WordList.wcm. Or — if you created the concordance another way — you can play the TrimTo63 macro on the open concordance document.


¤  Once the Index is generated you can edit the Index area itself and manually modify any entry that you feel should be longer than 63 characters. Do this after the document is finalized, since any regeneration of the Index will overwrite your edits.

¤  Like any document, the concordance file can become corrupted, even if only rarely. For important documents it might pay you to back it up and run Corel's free WPLOOK utility on it to remove possible internal damage. See the Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates page here.

Using capitalization (UPPER case letters) and hyphenation in a concordance file

Note these things about concordance files, whether generated in whole or part with a macro like WordList.wcm (or Concord.wcm) or whether they are created manually by typing words and phrases into the files.


The generated Index uses the capitalization of the words in a concordance file, not the capitalization of the same words in the document.

As WordPerfect's Help says: "...if you create a 'butterfly' entry in a concordance file, and generate the concordance with a document that also includes 'Butterfly,' all occurrences of 'butterfly' and 'Butterfly' are listed under the 'butterfly' [lower case] index heading."

Tip: An option on the WordList macro's menu lets the macro treat the capitalized and lower-case versions of a word as identical, producing just the lower-case version in the word list.

However, you may want to leave this option disabled if you want words like "smith" ("His father was a smith...") and "Smith" to be treated as different words, and thus have both appear in the word list (and thus also in the generated index). [Remember that you can edit the draft concordance and manually add such an item into it.]


The generated Index uses the form of hyphen in the concordance file when it searches the document to be indexed.

There are two forms of hyphen that are most likely to be affected in indexing operations when using a concordance file (but not when manually marking hyphenated items in the document, where the program treats them the same).

•  The regular hyphen, created as a code ([-Hyphen]) when you press the hyphen key; and

•  The hard hyphen, created by pressing <Ctrl+hyphen> (or by Format, Line, Other Codes, Hyphen character).

Like hard spaces (<Ctrl+Spacebar>), hard hyphens are used to "glue" words or dates together so they will not be split across lines, and it is the form used (at the present time) in the word lists produced by the built-in (but optional) Concord.wcm macro. That is, the Concord macro converts all regular hyphens to hard hyphens when it produces the word list that will ultimately become the concordance file.

On the other hand, the WordList macro preserves the form of all hyphens (regular hyphen and hard hyphen) — another reason to use it to create a (first draft of a) concordance file instead of pressing the Create button on the Define Index dialog (which "calls" Concord.com). (But see Method B below about how using two forms of hyphen in a concordance file affects a generated Index.)


When creating a concordance file manually — i.e., by typing or pasting the items into the concordance file a word or phrase at a time — the safest methods to ensure all hyphenated words are found in the document to be indexed when using the concordance during indexing are to use one of the following methods.

Method A

Convert all regular hyphens in the main document to hard hyphens before indexing it. You can search for regular hyphens (i.e., a [- Hyphen] code) with Find and Replace and replace them with hard hyphens (a "-" character). Or you can do the opposite: Convert all hard hyphens in the main document to regular hyphens.

Either way you should end up with one form of hyphen in the document. Then use that same form of the converted hyphen in the concordance file.

Method B

Use both forms of hyphen in the concordance file by simply creating two versions of each hyphenated item, one with a regular hyphen and another with a hard hyphen.

Notes about using the second method:

▸ If an item in a concordance file is NOT found in the document during indexing, it is ignored, so no harm is done by creating two forms of the same hyphenated words. Using Find and Replace to search for each form in the concordance file should help you more easily create the alternate form.

On the other hand, if BOTH forms of hyphenation for a particular hyphenated word in a concordance file ALSO exist in the document, both will show up in the generated Index. This is expected since the program sees them as two different items.

You could always examine the Index for such "duplicates" and review the main document using Reveal Codes to verify any "duplicate" hyphenated items were indeed the result of different forms of hyphen.

If you plan to do more editing you can change them in the main document (see Method A) to one or the other type of hyphen; then re-generate the Index. (Remember that re-generation replaces all material and custom formatting in the Index area.)

Or if this is truly the final draft you could just delete the "duplicates" from the Index when they point to the same items in the document, then publish the document. (Your choice, as always.)

For more on hyphens and hard spaces -

Tips on indexing with WordPerfect

  Index codes: The two types (and how to remove them)

•  Both types of indexing code can appear in Reveal Codes in the same document.

Since you can use both a concordance file and manually marked words and phrases as Headings and Subheadings in the same indexing operation you might see (in Reveal Codes) both types of index codes in the document.

[1]  If you manually mark words using the Reference Tools dialog (as explained above), WordPerfect will add [Index] codes (in Reveal Codes) next to those items.

Tip: In Reveal Codes, place the cursor on the left side of that code and you should see the word(s) displayed directly on the code that will appear in the Index itself (when it is generated).

The display (and the related index entry) is limited to about 63 characters and spaces.

However, as noted above you can edit the generated Index itself to manually modify any entry; this is best done after the document is finalized since any regeneration of the Index will overwrite your edits (see notes in the Generate step above.

[2]  If you use a concordance file, when you generate the Index WordPerfect will add [Bookmark: Hyperlink] codes next to the concordance items found in the document.

•  Both types of indexing code can be globally removed in the document.

A simple way is to use Find and Replace:
•  Place your cursor at the top of the document and click Edit, Find and Replace.
•  While your cursor is in the "Find" field in the Find and Replace dialog, select Match, Codes... on the dialog's menu and then choose "Index" (or "Bookmark" — but see below for more) from the list of codes that appears.
•  Finally, choose <Nothing> in the "Replace with" field and then click Replace All.

[1] If the [Index] codes are replaced with <Nothing> to globally remove them you will need to mark those items again in the main document, since removing these codes will also "clear" the Heading and Subheading drop lists in the Reference Tools dialog.

For longer documents with lots of index entries it might be better to use a concordance file to re-index the resulting "clean" document. The WordList.wcm macro can help create the concordance using the "Alphabetical list" option.

Alternatively, you can re-use an existing generated Index as a concordance file by copying the index entries — which are simply text formatted with special styles — into a new, blank document and pasting them there with Edit, Paste Special, Unformatted text to remove formatting. It might be helpful to generate a "text only" version of the Index before copying it. A little careful editing of the copied index, taking into account the tips and caveats elsewhere on this page, should produce a workable concordance file that can be saved to disk and used to re-index the document.

[2] If the [Bookmark: Hyperlink] codes are replaced with <Nothing>, to remove them, the concordance file will automatically replace them (assuming their word are in the concordance) when the document is generated again.


Replacing [Bookmark: Hyperlink] codes this way will replace all other [Bookmark] codes, too. Normally, there is little reason to remove these concordance-generated codes en masse, unless you are sure no other important bookmarks exist (verify with your document's Tools, Bookmark dialog).


For the purposes here, a phrase is two or more adjacent alphanumeric character strings that should show up in the generated Index as a single Heading or Subheading entry. (For Subheadings see examples in the next section.)

There are several ways to do this.

[1] Manually mark the phrase in the document to be indexed, as explained in Step 1 above.

[2] Using a concordance file, just enter the phrase on one line without leading or trailing spaces.

Notes and tips

•  Each entry in a concordance file has a maximum size of 63 characters including internal spaces. This is a limit imposed by WordPerfect. If longer than 63, you may get a WordPerfect error message, "Concordance Entry Too Large". [See the macro, TrimTo63, to trim all entries to a maximum of 63 characters, including internal spaces.]

•  You can "clip" (i.e., copy) phrases from your working document into a separate document window (as plain text) with a macro such as Clipper. Then you can add the clips from that document to an existing concordance file with copy (or cut) and paste, or if the Clipper document is saved, with Insert, File.

•  In some older WordPerfect versions you might need to insert "hard" spaces between phrase words in the concordance file (i.e., [HSpace] codes entered with Ctrl+Space) instead of normal spaces. Tip: Hard spaces are also useful when typing certain items such as salutations ("Mr. John Smith") to keep them one one line in the document. [Note that you can quickly change existing normal spaces in a selection of text to hard spaces with a macro such as Hspacer.]

[3] Use both methods — manually marked items and items in a concordance — with the same document to be indexed.


As previously noted, WordPerfect provides just two levels of indexed items: Headings and (optionally) their indented Subheadings.

And as noted at the top of this page, you can select and manually mark items as Headings and (optionally) Subheadings in
the main document to be indexed.

["Mark" as used here means to use the Mark button on the Reference Tools dialog's Index tab; see the image in Step 1c.]

However, you can also edit and mark a concordance file with Subheadings in much the same way that you mark Subheadings in the main document.
When marking them in the concordance file, you use the same Reference Tools dialog (see above).

The general method is:

[1] In the concordance file, click Tools, Reference, Index.
[2] Select the word that you want to appear as a Heading.
[3] Choose the word from the Heading list box (see also Notes below).
[4] Click the Mark button.
Then -
[5] Choose the word you want the Subheading to appear under from the
Heading ist box (see also Notes below).

[Note: In concordance files these two items — even though they probably are immediately adjacent in the document — generally should be on separate lines in the concordance because they will be marked separately to produce the indented Subheading. But see examples below where you can put the Subheading on the same line (e.g., Smith, John).]

[6] Select the word that you want to appear as a Subheading.
[7] Choose the word from the Subheading list box (see also Notes below).
[8] Click the Mark button.

Then when you create (i.e., generate) the Index, the marked Subheadings in the concordance will show up indented under their related Heading labels in the generated index.

Note that unmarked items in a concordance are automatically considered to be Headings in the generated Index, so there's no need to mark them as such in the concordance. You only need to use the Headings field in Reference Tools if you are marking a selected item as a Subheading.]

Moreover, if there is more than one Subheading under a particular Heading, they will appear in alphabetical order under that Heading in the generated index. (See examples below.)


¤  You might need to type the text label in a Reference Tools dialog field when marking a Heading or Subheading. Or you might be able to simply click in the field and choose an existing label. Use whichever works or is most convenient.

¤  Similarly, the text labels in the Heading/Subheading fields can be modified, if desired, by clicking in the field. The modifications affect only the displayed entries in the generated Index area; they do not modify the referenced items in the main document. (For more information see Step 1c above and the examples below.)

Examples (often used in a genealogy document, but which show the flexibility of the Index tool)

If you want people's first and last names to appear in the generated Index as "Johnson, Bill" and "Johnson, Fred" — i.e., in "Last Name, First Name" format — the easiest way is to open the Reference Tools dialog (above, Step 1a) and select both words (i.e., the "phrase"). Then manually mark them for indexing (see following examples).

As previously mentioned you can use both the manual and the concordance methods in the same document to be indexed, but here for the sake of illustrating the methods we will focus primarily on marking up a concordance file.

For Last Name, First Name format:

Assuming a concordance entry is "John Smith" (both words should be on one line in the concordance, without trailing spaces), you can select the item in the concordance file and then mark the selected item with the Reference Tools dialog (as noted above). This places the item in the Heading field.

Then ...

•  If you do NOT need an indented Subheading for the item you can simply edit the Heading field and change the label from "John Smith" to (e.g.) "Smith, John" (without quote marks). It will appear in the generated Index area something like this:

Smith, John.......5

The referenced item in the main document area will be unaffected and remain as "John Smith".


The characters you type into the Heading field are essentially a text label that is used for the entry in the generated index — not an actual copy of the text as it appears in the document.

Hence you can type something else in that field to revise or elaborate on the associated indexed word in the document.

As an additional example, if you want to mark "John Smith" in the document as a Heading, you could type "John Smith (author)" in the Heading field. The phrase "John Smith" will still be indexed but it will appear in the index as (e.g.) "John Smith (author)".


If you wish to make changes later to the displayed text labels of the entries created in the generated index, based partly or completely on a concordance file, you can edit the concordance and mark the concordance item(s) with new or different custom Heading and/or Subheading text, as described in the above examples.
    Just be sure to remove any existing [Index] code in Reveal Codes for any changed items: You should only have a maximum of one [Index] code per concordance item.
    Note also that you can do the same type of editing for words marked in the main document, too, but doing it in a concordance should be much easier (everything is more accessible, visible, and isolated when the items are in a concordance) and relatively immune from edits (particularly from deletions) made in the body text of the main document.

However ...

•  If you do want the first name of the person indented under the Heading,
both words should be on separate lines in the concordance, without trailing spaces. Then mark (e.g.) "Smith" as the Heading and "John" as the Subheading in the concordance. (In some cases you might need to type the text label in a Reference Tools dialog field when marking a Heading or Subheading.) They will then appear in the generated Index area something like this:


In this case, both items should be on separate lines in the concordance file.

Similarly for other people with the same last name, mark them in the same manner: "Abigail Smith" would have "Smith" as a Heading and "Abigail" as the Subheading.

In the generated Index they should appear indented and alphabetized (e.g.) this way:


•  Note also that if Smith appears anywhere in the main document without a first name ("...the Smith family...") and it should also appear in the Index with page numbers next to it, then use that last name as a separate concordance entry. This will cause it to automatically appear as a Heading entry in the generated index.

In this case there's no need to mark it in the concordance: single concordance items are automatically marked as Headings. (However, if you were to manually mark it in the main document area instead of in a concordance file you would mark it there by entering the item in the Heading field. Remember that you can use both the manual and concordance methods in the same document.)

Using the same example above — and where Smith also appears by itself on (e.g.) two separate pages (10 and 15) in the main document — you would see something like this in the generated Index:

Smith.........10, 15

•  You can also use phrases as Subheadings by typing them in the Subheading fields:

   District of...25, 28
   Geographical boundaries...30


You could manually mark the names as Headings/Subheadings in the main document (see above) instead of — or in addition to — doing it in the concordance file. But if you do it after the main document is written you would need to search for each item in that document, select it, and manually mark it as a Heading (Smith) and Subheading (first name). Then repeat the process for other instances and other names.

On the other hand the concordance mark-up method is easier and better since — whenever you edit the concordance — it conveniently displays a visible record of all proper names that should be indexed. You only need to add/edit specific names once. (No need to worry about extra names: As noted previously, if they are not found in the main document the indexing feature will simply ignore them.)

Related tips

•  If you need a concordance file containing just capitalized words (e.g., surnames, given names. other proper nouns, etc.), which should make it easier to index geneological documents, etc., see Footnote 2 below.

•  [Repeated from Step 1c above:]
In the Subheading field (at least) keep the labels relatively short or else WordPerfect might insert line breaks ([Ln Brk]) on the Index page when it is generated, causing Subheadings to break apart from their dot leaders (the dots that separate the Subheadings from their page number(s)).

  Organizing subheadings in the generated  Index (or in the concordance document)

•  In the generated Index: If you mark items to be indexed properly as Headings and Subheadings (with the Reference Tools dialog; see the example above for Last Name, First Name order) in the main document and/or in the concordance document, the program will automatically indent and alphabetize all Heading/Subheading entries in the Index when it is generated. In brief, the program organizes the index's Headings and Subheadings for you.

•  In the concordance file (an older method to help organize the entries in a large concordance): Subheadings can be manually organized under their respective Headings in the concordance document, rather than marking them as such with the Reference Tools dialog (see example above). Here's a tip from Richard Bournes (posted on WordPerfect Universe, 02/06/05):

[In the concordance file] switch to draft mode (View, Draft).

Insert a comment which corresponds to the heading (Insert, Comment).

Create an Index heading to agree with the comment.

Assemble and mark all your subheadings under each comment (also in alphabetical order) and keep the subheadings also in alphabetical order ([select] a group, then [use] Tools, Sort).

That way, all your headings are shown in a distinctive [color]; all the headings are in alphabetical order (if you do it that way) and all your subheadings are also in alphabetical order. This makes it all much easier to find and amend entries according to need.

The only trap is that when you have entered a heading as a comment, the temptation is to think you have ALSO just properly entered a heading under Tools, Reference, Index, Heading when, in fact, you may not have. [Make sure there's an actual Index Heading in the concordance, not just a non-printable Comment, above the various Subheadings that relate to that Heading.]

  Formatting the Index after it has been generated

The Index area material is mostly ordinary text, with each entry formatted with a special paragraph style (and typically including hyperlinked page numbers).

This material is placed between the special [Def Mark][Gen Txt] ... [Gen Txt] codes that you can see in Reveal Codes.

Therefore, for example, you could select the entire block of Index material, including the [Def Mark][Gen Txt] ... [Gen Txt] codes, and -

• format the Index into columns (see example in Footnote 6); or
• change the material to a smaller font size; or

• manually add/remove/edit punctuation or text; or
• fix problems such as run-together entry lines caused by prior use of Full (or All) justification in the document (try setting the Index area to Left justification).

Related tips:

▸ A popular after-generation format is to add large capital letters to divide each section of the index. See the AlphaDiv macro to help with this task.

To change the font used for just the generated Index's page numbers, see Footnote 5 below.

Caution: Be aware that if you re-generate the Index after you make such changes your changes in the Index area will be lost since everything between the two [Gen Txt]..[Gen Txt] codes will be automatically replaced with the newly generated material.

Therefore it is better to do such formatting and editing on the final draft of the document and after the Index has been generated. And be sure not to remove the index codes [Def Mark] and [Gen Txt] from the Index area or you will need to Define the Index again (Step 2 above) before you can re-generate it.

An alternative is to ensure (if possible) that the new formatting applies to the entire generated Index by -

either starting the new format codes somewhere above the Index (e.g., a new font size)
or by enclosing the entire Index — plus its [Def Mark] and [Gen Txt] codes — with new formating.

  Dividing the Index

•  Once you've created an Index you may want to divide the Index into sections using capital (uppercase) letters as dividers. See AlphaDiv (a macro for this purpose) in the WPToolbox Library. Again, this should be done after the final draft and the Index has been generated, for the reasons discussed in the previous section.

•  You can also divide the generated Index horizontally into columns. The general method is to enclose ("bracket") the generated Index — including its own On/Off codes — inside paired column codes (i.e., with Format, Column, Balanced Newspaper). For the latter, see (e.g.) how to set up the generated Index into two columns in Footnote 5 below..

  Multiple Indexes for the same document

If you need multiple Indexes in a document, here is a post from Lindsay Rollo on WordPerfect Universe that explains how to do it. (See Footnote 3 for the full text of his post.)

Basically, you should use just concordance files to create each Index and not mark words for indexing with the manual method referenced above.

Then you generate the first Index at the desired location.

Once generated, you select it and its bracketing codes (i.e., select everything from the [Def Mark] code to the ending [Gen Txt] code) and temporarily turn the Index into a WordPerfect Comment with Insert, Comment, Create. This "hides" the Index so you can generate the next Index.

Repeat as needed for more Indexes.

When you have finished, "unhide" the hidden Indexes by placing the cursor immediately after each of the [Comment] codes and click Insert, Comment, Convert to text.

Naturally, all this should be done after the final draft of the document, or you might need to delete the Indexes and recreate them to ensure all items appear with their proper page numbers.

  Highlighting indexed words

You can highlight the indexed words in your document by making use of either (1) the current concordance file (if you used one) or (2) the resulting Index created without page numbers, then copied into a separate file (see the tip below on using a generated Index as a concordance for future use — which also produces a numberless index).

The plain text list (#1 or #2 above) can then be used as a source file with the HiLiteDoc macro in the WPToolbox Library. That macro will use the source words to find the target words in the body of the document and highlight them.

Note that the HiLiteDoc macro probably won't highlight words that were manually marked for indexing if you used a concordance file as the source list (they might not show up in the concordance) — though they should be highlighted if you used method #2  above.  (Still, be aware that the macro might get confused over certain items such as "nested" marked-up words — e.g., when both "John Smith" and "Smith" are marked at the same location. Be sure to read the comments at the top of the HiLiteDoc macro's code.)

Highlighting can be removed with a macro in the same suite, or it can be removed with built-in WordPerfect feature, as explained at the bottom of the HiLite download page.

  Limiting the length of concordance file entries to 63 characters

As noted several times above, concordance file entries (and manually marked document entries using the Reference Tools feature) should be limited to 63 characters to prevent WordPerfect from stopping and displaying an error message during indexing. [The WordList macro has a trim option to do this for you.]

However, once the Index is generated you can edit the Index itself and manually modify any entry that you feel should be longer than 63 characters. Do this after the document is finalized, since any regeneration of the Index will overwrite your edits.

  Using a generated Index as a concordance for future use

You can use a generated Index as a concordance file (or add it to an existing concordance file) for future use with other documents: Simply generate the Index using "text only" items (i.e., no page numbering, just the Index entries).

Here's how:

First, make a backup of the document.


If the Index already exists, you can -

[1] double-click the [Def Mark] code at the beginning of the index,
[2] for the Numbering Format Position, use "No Numbering"; then
[3] click OK and
[4] generate the document.

If the Index has NOT yet been created, make the same "No Numbering" choice (as in the above step) when you generate it. 


[5] Select and copy (Ctrl+c) the numberless Index (i.e., everything between the [Def Mark][Gen Txt]...[Gen Txt] codes, which bracket all indexes), then
[6] open
a new, blank document and
[7] paste the copied material there as Unformatted text (Edit, Paste Special, Unformatted text). Then
[8] save that new document with a different name, which then can be used as a concordance file (or combined into an existing concordance file, and the result sorted with Tools, Sort.)

Optional: You can then close the original document without saving the changes that were made with this procedure.

For other methods of creating a concordance file, see above.

  Adding index entries that reference topical locations (or: "Road signs for the Index Highway")

If you need entries in the Index that reference various (but related) topics that span several pages or appear in several places, you can manually Mark (as a Heading, described in Step 1 above) each of those document pages with a descriptive Heading field, and the topical references will show up in the Index.

Essentially you create a sort of descriptive "signpost" in the Index directing the reader to various pages that deal with the topic. Even if you have indexed section headings or other items throughout the document, this procedure can help the reader identify and locate specific information.

For example, you could -

[1] place your cursor at the beginning of a topical area — e.g., one dealing with various animal research studies in the main document's text — then,

[2] (without selecting anything first since you will be editing the Heading field anyway) manually add a marked Heading with the label "Animal studies" at that location — as well as to the beginning of each related area on the following pages that generally cover the topic — then,

[3] generate the Index (Step 2e above).

Even though the phrase "Animal studies" does not exist in the document the Index will contain a Heading for the pages, such as -

"Animal studies.....250-255, 260, 262".

In other words, you do not have to select-and-mark existing words to force the Index to contain an entry. You can create a sort of "textual bookmark" entry — a "pointer" — in the generated Index by simply creating a Mark (which inserts an [index] code) on several consecutive and/or non-consecutive pages — or even on several places on the same page. [Note: It is best to insert these index marks at or very near the beginning of the topics that they reference, in case material is inserted or deleted later in the document and the Index is regenerated.]

All this can be done even if you also use a concordance file to help generate the Index.

  Combining corcordance files

As previously noted, you can combine multiple concordance files into a single file. Each item should end with a hard return and there should be no blank lines. Save the combined file to disk. [Though not required by the program, it can help to sort the combined Index alphabetically — e.g., if you need to find duplicates, etc.]

  Check the Index for errors, misspellings, etc.

It is easy to overlook this step.

  Other information on indexing

See WordPerfect's online help (F1), under "Creating an index."

  Advanced topics and tips

 See an after-market book such as -

•  Using WordPerfect 12 or Using WordPerfect X3 by Laura Acklen and Read Gilgen (QUE Books), or
•  WordPerfect Office: The Complete Reference Guide from Corel (not reviewed here).

Create a Glossary of Terms with the Index feature

Since the Index feature creates an alphabetized list of previously marked (coded) words in document, you can use the Index feature to create a Glossary by simply formatting the resulting "index" differently.

You can even use the Index feature again in the same document to create a regular Index.

Index the words as you write (or later during editing) by marking them manually as described above.

Use either one of these options (not both):

Option 1: If you have not yet generated the Index: When you generate the Index, it normally will create a section of text with page numbers after each Index item. However, in this case -

- position the cursor where you want the Glossary to appear;
- click Tools, Reference, Index, Define;
- choose "No Numbering" in the Define Index dialog's Position drop list;
- click OK;
- back in the Reference Tools dialog, click Generate (or generate later with Tools, Reference, Generate).

- or -

Option 2: If you have already generated the Index you can simply double-click on the [Def Mrk] code in Reveal Codes. This brings up the Define Index dialog (as in Option 1 above).

- Choose "No Numbering" in the Define Index dialog's Position drop list;
- click OK and Close to return to the document.

You should now have an alphabetical list — without page numbers — to use as a Glossary.

Important: If you need to actually index the document after creating the Glossary, be sure to delete the bracketing Index codes around your Glossary so that it becomes a plain text list. Otherwise, you will have your Glossary overwritten by the subsequent Index operation.

Here's how:

In Reveal codes, locate the [Def Mrk][Gen Txt] codes at the beginning of the Glossary and delete them; this leaves just the index's paragraph style codes around each Glossary item. They should do no harm, but ...

To quickly remove the index style codes around all Glossary items, select the entire Glossary and click <None> in the Styles list on the property bar (or click Format, Styles, <None>, Insert). This should remove the paragraph style codes, leaving a "plain text" list of terms.

Then create a new, comprehensive Index. You could use (and maintain) a concordance file for just the Index items, to keep the (manually marked) Glossary items separate from the rest of the to-be-indexed items during document creation and editing. Since you can use both a concordance and manually marked index terms when you generate an Index, you can have a Glossary [from the manually marked items] and an Index [from the combination of manually marked items and the concordance].

Footnote section

Footnote 1

[Continued from Step 2c above:]

If you cannot see a Define button in the Reference Tools dialog it might be because Reference Tools dialog has been “truncated.” Click here for a screen shot of what the Reference Tools dialog should look like with the Index tab selected. (Shown is the WPX4 version. Other versions might be different.)

There's a setting in Windows that might be causing the problem. Whichever setting you change, be sure you know how to return to it to restore it to the original setting. [Disclaimer]

Windows 8/10: Right-click on the Windows desktop, and choose Display Settings. The "Customize your display" dialog opens, which has a slider tool to set the size as a percentage. Or (similar to Windows 7 above) to fine tune the setting: Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization, Display. Under "Change size of items" click "set a custom scaling level". Note that the dialog says this is "not recommended," but it appears to be the same dialog as the "Custom DPI Setting" dialog found in Windows 7 above.

Windows Vista/7: Open "Screen Resolution" by clicking the Start button on your desktop, clicking Control Panel, and then, under Appearance and Personalization, clicking "Adjust screen resolution". Click the link, "Make text and other items larger or smaller". You can set the sizes to Smaller, Medium, and Larger. If you want to fine tune the setting: Click on "Set custom text size (DPI)" in the left pane to open the "Custom DPI Setting" dialog. Click the scale (ruler), drag the setting to whatever percentage size increase you want (100%-500%), and then click OK. (If you prefer, you can type a number between 100 and 500 in the box next to "Scale to this percentage of normal size," and then click OK.) On the Display screen, click Apply. The change will take effect the next time you log on.

Windows XP: Right-click on the Windows XP desktop, then click Properties (or click the Start menu, Settings, Control Panel, Display). Click the "Settings" tab, then click the "Advanced" button in the lower right-hand corner of that tab. Under DPI setting, make sure the drop-down displays "Normal size (96 DPI)" rather than "Large size (120 DPI)".


Some users have reported on the results of increasing the setting beyond 100% (96 DPI). For them, at 117% all buttons on the Reference Tools dialog's tabs are present; at 118% the bottom buttons are missing because the dialog is truncated.

Note also that in some situations increasing the DPI will make the numbers on your WP ruler invisible. This is a known issue.

If you still need to increase the size of dialog (and other Windows elements) text, here's a tip from Charles Rossiter (Corel C_Tech):

[In Windows XP:] "Instead of changing the dpi, you can edit the display settings through Windows Start, Settings, Appearance tab, Advanced button. Click on item, and you get a list of about 20 items. Go through that list and increase every font size by 2 points (as a starter example).

If you increase the size of the characters that way, without changing the dpi, you will not lose the ruler measurements, nor disrupt the reference tools dialog."

[In Windows 7:] Click on Start, then in the Search field, type "change windows colors and metrics." In that dialog (Window Color and Appearance) you can adjust these items.]

Temporary solution:

You can create a simple macro to display the Define Index dialog, the same as if you pressed the Define button in the Reference Tools dialog. Here's how:

Open a new blank document and use Tools, Macro, Macro Toolbar to display the Macro toolbar. Then type the single macro command, IndexDefineDlg, into the document. Press Save & Compile on the Macro toolbar to save it to your default macro folder (as shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro). Then go to the document to be indexed and play the macro at the current cursor location (usually, the end of the document) with Tools, Macro, Play. It will insert the Index codes and the text placeholder there. Then generate the document with Tools, Reference, Generate.

Footnote 2

If you need a concordance file containing only words that have one or more capital letters in them (e.g., surnames, given names. proper nouns, acronyms, etc.):


You could first use the
WordList macro to create a separate alphabetical list (the second main function of that macro) consisting of all words that appear at least once in the document. Or, use any similar list your might have on hand. The list should contain both words with upper case letters and words with just lower case letters. Then you could use the macro below to trim out all items that contain just lower case letters.


Play the  WordList macro on your document, choosing to create an alphabetical list (not a frequency list). IMPORTANT: Be sure to de-select (un-tick) the WordList macro's option to convert the list to all lower case words. You will want to retain upper case items in the list.

2. When the WordList macro is finished creating the alphabetical list of items, save it to disk, then remove the editorial comments that will appear at the top of that list. This should leave you with a list containing just individual line items, each ending in a hard return.

3. Play the following macro on that edited word list. It will delete all items in the list that do NOT contain capital letters, leaving just items with capital letters. (N.B.: To copy the macro code into your WordPerfect to create a functional macro, see here.)

// PURPOSE: A macro to remove any line items from a list that are all lower case.

// All items in the list must end with a hard return ([HRt]).
// The document should not contain anything else but the items to be processed.
// Remove any formatting — bold, italics, tables, graphics, etc. — but
// retain any existing hyphen codes, en-dashes, and hard spaces.

// It is always a good idea to make a backup of the document first.

// Macro begins:
        Break // (Nothing more selected, so exit now)
        DeleteCharPrevious  // If upper case NOT found delete selected item
        SelectOff  // Turn select mode off
// Macro ends

[N.B.: You can usually undo the work of a macro with Edit, Undo (or Ctrl+z). This would give you the opportunity to first copy the new list of words (i.e., only words with capital letters) to a new document; then you can undo the changes to the current list. Or, as noted, simply save the current list before playing the above macro.]

Footnote 3

[...Continued from "Multiple indexes for the same document" above:]

"Multiple Indexes

There are many occasions when multiple Indexes [in the same document] are either necessary, desirable, or enhance academic or technical document.

Multiple Indexes can be generated in WordPerfect by a simple, if slightly tedious, process.

Indexes can be a combination of words marked in the text combined with those included in a concordance file. However, if multiple Indexes are to be created, it is strongly recommended that concordance files only should be used, as only the first Index generated [in a document] can use the combined method. [Italics added.]

Assuming only two indexes are required, the first Index is generated from a concordance file in the ordinary way.

To generate the second Index, (using Reveal Codes first) 'capture' the entire first Index from the [Def Mark] code to the terminal [Gen Txt] code in a Comment box by clicking Insert|Comment|Create. Both codes must be included in the Comment box.

Position the cursor after the Comment Box [in Reveal Codes].

Now generate the second Index using the second concordance file.

Return to the Comment Box and convert the content to text by clicking Insert|Comment|Convert to text.

Both indexes are now displayed.

Additional Indexes can be generated by repeating the process. To speed things up, wait until all Indexes are created before converting to text.

If a Table of Contents is included in the document, treat Index headings in the same way as other section headings, such as starting each Index on a new page. The necessary page breaks etc must be inserted before each Index is generated.

Some experimentation may be necessary to coordinate the Table of Contents and Indexes where the Table of Contents exceeds one page.

If text is amended or expanded after the Indexes have been generated, the original Indexes will have to be deleted and regenerated to ensure page numbers correspond with the revised text.

It is desirable, therefore, that Indexes are generated after all text editing and other quality assurance procedures have been completed.

Note that concordance files run most swiftly if sorted alphabetically."

[Lindsay Rollo
Wellington, New Zealand
(WordPerfect Universe FAQ, 22 July 2000)

Footnote 4

[...Continued from the Define Index dialog, "Optional buttons..." above:]

Position button: Choose a page number position for the index entries from the Position list box. The position you choose determines the way the page numbers display in the index. You can choose one of the following page number positions.

•  No Numbering - No page numbers
•  Text # - Page numbers following the entries (separated by a space)
•  Text (#) - Page numbers in parentheses following the entries (separated by a space)
•  Text     # - Flush right page numbers
•  Text.....# - Flush right page numbers with dot leaders (see also Footnote 7)
•  Text, # - Page numbers following theentries (separated by a comma and a space).

You can have each page number printed out (for example: ... 4, 5, 6, 9) rather than combined (for example: ... 4-6, 9) by un-checking (clearing) the “Use dash to show consecutive pages” check box.

Page Numbering button: You can insert secondary page numbers, chapter numbers, volume numbers, or the total number of pages by clicking the Page Numbering button in the Define Index dialog box.

Normally, the page numbers in your Index will look like the page numbers in your document. If you have used special numbering like volume, chapter, and secondary page numbers, you can customize the way page numbers appear in your index. While defining your Index, choose Page Numbering and then select User-Defined Page Number Format. Then choose Insert, and choose the types of numbers you want to include in the page number format for your Index. Type any text and punctuation that you want to include with the numbers.

Note: To change the font or font size of just the page numbers in a generated Index, see Footnote 5 below.

Change button: This (advanced) option lets you makes changes to the two styles associated with headings and subheadings in the generated Index. [For more general information on styles see here.]

Footnote 5

[...Continued from Formatting the Index after it has been generated:]

By program design, page numbers in a generated Index use the same font and font size as the Index entries (i.e., the default document font).

But what if you just want to change the font and/or font size used for page numbers in the Index? A thread on WordPerfect Universe dealt with the issue of changing the font of the numbers. Here's the general outcome of the discussion from my post there.

NOTE: This method will require re-generating the Index, so if you have already made edits to the generated Index you might wish to read all steps before performing them. Likewise, if you re-generate the Index after using this method the new formatting will be lost, so you will need to run the macro again.

[Step 1] First, you will need to temporarily add a text character next to each page number in the generated Index so that a small macro (below) can find the numbers and apply your new font (in this example, Courier New).

This is easy and quick. Here we will use underscores (_) as the temporary character — assuming they are not used elsewhere in the Index. [If they are used there, substitute some other non-used character such as an equals sign (=); then change the macro's SearchString() parameter to use the same character for the search.]

•  To do this just open the Define Index dialog, which is easily accessed in a generated Index by double-clicking on the [Def Mark] code at the top of that index. Then:
•  Click the Page Numbering button.
•  Enable "Custom page number format".
•  Type an underscore the the left of the [Page #] code there so that it appears like this:  _[Page #] .
•  Click OK twice to return to the document.

[Step 2] Regenerate the Index (see Step 2e above). All page numbers should now have a leading underscore.

[Step 3] Place your cursor at the top of the generated Index, and then play the following macro. It will look for underscores and when one is found, it deletes it and tests to see if the following characters are numbers. If so, they are selected and the new font is applied to the selection. Then the macro repeats until no more items are found.

(To copy this code into your WordPerfect to create a functioning macro see here.)

// Macro code begins here
Display(On!)  // (<- delete this to speed up macro)
SearchString("_")  // (search for an underscore)
While(True)  // (keep looping until no more items are found)
    DeleteCharNext  // (delete the underscore)
    QuickmarkSet  // (set a temporary bookmark)
    // Select next consecutive numbers, commas, character hyphens —
    // skipping over other characters/codes (except ending [ParaStyle])
        OR (?RightCode>0 AND ?RightCode<>2269))
    // Apply the new font and font size to the selection:
    Font("Courier New") 
    FontSize(10p)  // (here, 10 point size)
    vCount:=vCount+1 // (increment the counter)
Messagebox(;"Done";vCount + " items were processed.")
MatchSelection // (restore search default)
// End of macro code


If you re-generate the Index again this new formatting will be lost (as explained above), so you will need to run the macro again.

Obviously, you will not want to use it if other underscores are present in the document, so be sure to place the cursor at the beginning of the first line in the generated Index.

Note that Ctrl+z should Undo all changes.

Footnote 6

[...Continued from Formatting the Index after it has been generated:]

While you can format the entries in an Index after it has been generated, you might want some formatting to "stick" if you have to regenerate it several times. Otherwise, regenerating the Index will delete (i.e., replace) the existing Index — including any changes in format that you might have made.

The trick is to either [A] place the formatting code before (or above) the index codes, or [B] select the entire Index and its defining codes (as explained in the example below) and then apply your formatting to the selection.

Example: Format the Index into two columns.

[1] Back up your document. Generate the Index (Tools, Reference, Generate).

[2] Click in Reveal Codes and place your cursor immediately to the left of the initial
[Def Mark][Gen Txt] codes at the beginning (top) of your Index.

(Note: Also check that no other paragraph format codes, such as [Para Spacing], are present. Sometimes these can mysteriously affect the Index when regenerating it. So you should apply such formatting after creating the two-column format.)

[3] Hold the Shift key down while you move down with the Arrow or Page Down keys until you have selected everything in the Index including the last [Gen Txt] code.

[4] Click Format, Columns, Balanced newspaper (if that's what you want), OK.

The Index should now be in two columns, with entries and related page numbers in the same column(s).

[Tip: The same procedure can be done with a Table of Contents, as explained here.]

Footnote 7

[Continued from Footnote 4 above...]

After generating an Index (and this also applies to a Table of Contents) with ....dot leaders between each entry and its page number(s) (i.e., when using the Text.....# numbering format) you might find that it looks a little better (depending on the font) with extra spaces between the text entries on one side of the dots and the page numbers on the other side.

It would be nice if you could simply edit the Index's Index1 or Index2 styles to change such things, but the only edits you can make there are to the style that controls each entry's indentation. Apparently insertion of the flush-right dot leaders in an Index (or in a Table of Contents) is hard-coded in the program when you choose that particular Numbering format in the Define Index (or Table of Contents) dialog.


For this particular effect (in a generated Index) there's a simpler method to do it:

First, you will need to use the Text.....# numbering format for the Index (or Table of Contents). Then -

[1] place the cursor at the top of the generated Index (or in a pre-selected area);

[2] open Edit, Find and Replace; in the Find: field use the F&R's menu under Match>Codes to insert the [...Hd Flush Right] code in the Find field (note that the code here is the one that has 3 leading dots (...);

[3] click in the Replace with: field and add two spaces, followed by the [...Hd Flush Right]
code (use the Replace>Codes to insert that code in the Replace field, or just select and copy the code from the Find field), followed by two more spaces;

[4] click Replace All.

Remember that further re-generation of the document will remove the new formatting (see above), so you'll need to
repeat these steps — at least in the final draft of the document.

Footnote 8

[Continued from above...]

Assume you want to create a document with a 2-column index so that is automatically produced when you generate the index, and where the columns are automatically discontinued (turned off) at the end of the generated index.

Normally, if you try to create an empty 2-column structure that includes a termination ("off") code, the program will not do it because it "sees" it as empty and thus not valid.

The trick is to embed the necessary code inside a Character style. Here's how.


1. Open Reveal Codes. Locate the cursor where the index is to appear (usually on the last page or on a page near the end of the document).

2. Define the index with Tools, Reference, Index, Define (button)
(see Step 2 above) to the point where the [Def Mark] code and placeholder text ("<<Index will generate here>>") appears in the document.

- Optionally specify a concordance, if used.
- Click OK.
- Close the Reference Tools dialog.

3. In the document, use Reveal Codes to select just the new [Def Mark] code in Reveal Codes. (Shift+Arrow works best to make accurate selections in Reveal Codes.)

4. Cut (Ctrl+x) the selected code to the clipboard. It will be used below.

5. Be sure to erase the text placeholder ("<< Index will generate here>>") and the [Gen Txt]...[Gen Txt] pair of codes in the document text area with the Delete or Backspace key. (The latter codes will be created when the index is generated.)

6. Now, create a new Character style with Format, Styles, Create.
In the Styles Editor dialog, set these items:

- Style name: "2columns" (or whatever you want to call it)
- Description: (optional)
- Enter style inserts style: <None>
- Type: Character
- Optionally enable the box, "automatically update...".

7. In the Styles Editor's Contents pane:

- Using the Styles Editor's own menu, choose Format, Columns, OK. (This assumes you are using the default 2-column settings for Newspaper columns.) You should now see the [Col Def] "on" code in the Contents pane.

- Press Ctrl+v to insert the [Def Mark] code from the clipboard.
You should now see two codes in the Contents pane: [Col Def][Def Mark].

- Enable (tick) the checkbox, "Show off codes". This inserts a long [Codes to the left...] code, which is a program "placeholder".

- Move the red block cursor to the bottom (i.e., end) of the Contents pane, after all other codes.

- Using the Styles Editor's own menu, choose Format, Columns, Discontinue. This inserts the [Col Def] "off" code in the Contents pane.

There should now be a total of 4 codes visible in the Contents pane.

8. Click OK, then Close, to close the Styles Editor.

9. Insert the new "2columns" style where the index should be generated. Use either Format, Styles (etc.) or the Select Style drop list on the text property bar.

You can optionally surround the [Char Style][Char Style] code pair with the Small (relative size) font attribute. If so, select the [Char Style] codes (both on and off codes) and apply the Small attribute to them. You should then see this in Reveal Codes: [Small][Char Style][Char Style][Small]

10. TEST: Generate the index with Tools, Reference, Generate.
(Ctrl+z should Undo it, if desired.)


¤  If you want to change the format of the columns, you'll need to remember the [Def Mark] code is now inside a style code and not immediately visible in Reveal Codes. But you can just double-click on the style code to edit the style, and then delete the [Def Mark] code in it; then replace it with a new code (step 7+ above in this footnote).

Or, simply delete the current Character style, create a new one, and repeat all steps above with new specifications for the columns.

¤  If you want to save the style for use in future documents, see the Styles page. But again, be aware that the column definition code is inside the Character style code and will therefore create the same column structure and specifications in those future documents.