Is there some software which can automatically do a basic index from my Text document (MS Word) for me?

I have written multiple speaker text's (each 2-3 MS Word pages in german language) for videos I created (25~ Videos).

Now I want to automatically generate a basic index of each text so people can search roughly in which of the Videos their search criteria lies. As I am under time pressure and really just need some basic index (I will have time later to go after the details).

NOTE: I also take workarounds if there is no chance of doing that, but please something that is at least faster than having to read all documents through again and evaluate every word :(

  • Does Microsoft Word no longer have the capacity to do this automatically from a concordance file? I recall doing this without any additional software. – Fortiter May 9 '13 at 12:38
  • I edited my question as I see that I haven't explained myself well. Hope it's more clear now :) – elhombre May 9 '13 at 12:49
  • I deleted my previous answer and added a new one. I hope this time it goes towards your question. – Psicofrenia May 9 '13 at 15:40

Keep in mind that you are talking about creating concordances, not subject indexes. Subject indexes cannot be done automatically but require human analysis for substance and quality. For quality results, a good search will search both the text and the human-created index, thereby giving you both concordance findings as well as analysis for relations, alternative phrasing, etc., which concordances do not provide.

For more information, please visit the American Society for Indexing (ASI).

Pilar Wyman
Immediate-Past President, ASI
Chief Indexer, Wyman Indexing


I guess now I understood what your question was. Indeed there are a lot of software that can do what you want but I guess your premise is wrong since this is not related to create a table of content for the document but to index the document content allowing -- at least from what I understood - complexes searches.

Normally this is done trough software not to index, by to manage content. For example a CMS. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system)

In that way, the search and the indexing procedures are not performed by MS Word but for some other system. Please note that the search service from windows and linux commands will allow to do the same kind of searches but they will work locally only.

Just as an example, I work with eZ Publish (http://ez.no/Products/eZ-Publish-CMS). It uses Solr (http://lucene.apache.org/solr/) to index the contents and the very CMS performs the searches. Of course I'm talking about Client/Server software, quite complex but, since you want people to search, I think you will have any kind of server to share content.

I guess wordpress (http://wordpress.org/) can do it using plugins, but I'm not sure.

In any case, if you want to share searches and information, I think your premise is wrong since it will not be on word document level but one step higher, in the software that will share and manage the content. Maybe you should talk to your editor about that or the webadmin or the developer that will share/sell/distribute your book

I really hope I wasn’t too technical. This is quite hard to explain. Anyway, if this answer goes towards your question and you have any more doubts, comment here and I'll try to explain in a clearer way.

Append: I just reminded something. Google can index PDF files and allow searches. You can add a custom search box for your site, for example, assuming that's the way you want to share content. Please check http://www.seoconsult.com/seoblog/seo-techniques/can-google-fully-index-pdf-files.html

  • Thank you very much for making such an effort to help me :D – elhombre May 9 '13 at 15:40
  • Yes I am using a CMS (Joomla) where I will make a viewable glossary but my problem is getting the words out of the document into the glossary so people can see, search and select their themes, which again are linked to the videos. I can't upload the word document as it is part of my work. So I will have to get the keywords out of the document and then paste them into a nice glossary html I made. I understand that indexing ist human work but think there is software which can get roughly out some keywords which I can then sort out – elhombre May 9 '13 at 15:48
  • As for the linking the words in the glossary with the videolinks, I have a vague idea how to do that in Pyhton, so it's just a problem of getting the key words out of my Word document – elhombre May 9 '13 at 15:50
  • Joomla in not a CMS I really know but check this: joomla.natemaxfield.com Btw, that google tweak I appended in my answer will work with Joomla – Psicofrenia May 9 '13 at 15:53

Good Luck! Consider something a bit better suited to working with things of that sort, I heartily recommend LaTeX. It's efficient, powerful, and very powerful. There is a StackExchange for it, tex.stackexchange.com

  • I did not understand how LaTeX in any way solves this problem. I'm not saying it doesn't, but without some actual explanation, this answer won't be very helpful to OP or other readers. – Standback May 16 '13 at 20:12

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