How to Remove All the Index Entries

KRB wrote:

I have some documents with old indexes, which I need to delete to start all over from scratch. I can’t seem to find a way of removing all the index entries. Any suggestions?

That is frustrating! Fortunately, Find/Change comes to the rescue.

  1. Open all the documents (the ones you want to strip of index entries) at the same time.
  2. Then open the Find/Change dialog box (Command/Ctrl-F).
  3. Type ^I into the “Find What” field and make sure the Change To field is blank.
  4. Set the Search pop-up menu to All Documents.
  5. Click Change All.

Wowza, they’re gone!

I know what you’re wondering: How on earth did David know the special code for index entries? Well, of course, I have a trick: I just selected Index Entries from the little flyout menu to the right of the Find What field. Those flyout menus are so useful!

findindex2

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Comments

24 Comments on “How to Remove All the Index Entries

  1. A word of warning about using Find/Change to locate index markers. While David’s tip is perfectly fine for getting rid of them all, if you use Find/Change to locate an index marker and then, with it still selected, open the Index panel, whether by using the menu or by clicking on its collapsed icon, you will crash InDesign CS3. This bug is still present in 5.0.2.

    Dave

  2. Now, as to starting over, keep these shortcuts in mind:

    Cmd u for an index entry (ctrl u for Windows)

    Shift/Opt/Cmd ] for an index entry without dialog box (shift/alt/ctrl ] for Windows)

    Shift Opt Cmd [ for a proper name index with last name first, first name last. (shift/alt/ctrl [ for Windows)

  3. Looking at that PDF, I see this:

    InDesign CS3 unexpectedly quits when selecting ?Update Preview? in the Index panel. [1570415]

    which sounds like a similar bug but not the one I’m talking about.

    Dave

  4. Even after removing all the index markers using Find/Change, the index panel may still show entries when clicking the Topic radio button at the top. To remove these entries, select one of them and then choose Remove Unused Topics from the flyout menu. You now have a fully clean Index panel….

  5. Hi all, I’m working in CS2, and I seem to recall having seen a similar method for removing all index entries…any thoughts?

  6. I made the mistake of deleting the text from an old issue of a journal to create a new issue?without first removing the index entries! Now it seems I have to go back and remove each index entry one at a time, in order to use the index feature. Is there an easier way? Desperate.

  7. Melinda, good question! No, it’s easier than that: Just choose Remove Unused Topics from the Index panel menu.

  8. The solution given above works fine for references that are actually in a document, but is there a way to remove all cross references from the index file itself? For example, when you add “See also” entries, they are apparently part of the index file; they are not inserted as a marker in a document file, as are numbered references. So far, the only way I’ve seen to get rid of them is one-by-one. When we’re talking about an 800 – 1,000 page book, that can add up to a lot of references that need to be deleted individually. Any thoughts on this?

  9. I deleted the topics, individually and from the fly menu. They just keep re-appearing. These index entries are from a previous version of the book in a different language! I can’t get them out. Each time I generate the index they’re back there. I’m desperate. Please help!

  10. Would you be kind enough to answer a few questions, or to direct me to resources, please?

    So far, for topics/words in Index, I’ve been using Add All in the New Page Reference box. But it often generates multiple entries on the same page number, throughout for several pages.

    Going back to edit to delete the extras in Index/Reference window, I have to select the Index letter, the topic/title, the page, then delete; and afterwards, the whole hierarchy disappears and I have to start over and repeat the same 4 clicks again for the next page number under the same word–very tedious! Is there any easier way to select and delete multiple entries at once? (Typically Shift-Click or Command-Click, in Mac.).

    Your help and explanations would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Josef

  11. Hey, what about a script that does the job? I knew how to find and replace manually any Index Marker but I need a script to do it.

    I have a script which places specific Index Markers in the document however I need it to delete the existing ones before adding new ones. At the moment I need to manually remove all markers before running the script, I would like to simply add a function so it does it by itself but I don’t know how :-(

    Anyone able to help me out?

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