How to Create a Concordance File and Use AutoMark in Microsoft Word

In Brief...

You can speed up the process of adding an index to a large document by creating a concordance file, which is a list of all terms you want to index, and then automating the process. To create a concordance file and use it to auto-mark items in Microsoft Word follow these six steps.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Word: 2010, 2013, and 2016.


  1. Create a two-column table in a new Word document. On the left, type the text you want Word to search for, and on the right, type the index entry for the text on the left. For a subentry, type the main item followed by a colon and the subentry. Save the file.

  2. Open the document to index and from the References tab in the Index group, select Insert Index.
    Insert Index

  3. Select AutoMark.
    Select AutoMark

  4. Select the concordance file and click Open.
    Concordance File

  5. Word searches the document and marks found entries with "XE" followed by the specified index information.
    Index Information

  6. Place the cursor where you want to insert the index and select Insert Index from the References tab.

Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.