Indexing with Page Breaks from Quark

I started indexing a book yesterday, and I wanted to work on the text of the document in electronic form, with page breaks that matched those of the galleys, which had already been typeset in QuarkXPress. After a little experimentation, I figured out the following procedure:

1. Ask the typesetter to provide a postscript file, exported from QuarkXPress.

2. Open the postscript file using the free Ghostscript and GSview programs:

3. In GSview, click Edit > Text Extract and save the resulting file to the desktop.

4. Open the file in Microsoft Word. Wow! All of the page breaks are exactly where they’re supposed to be (inserted as manual page breaks). Of course, formatting has been lost (since this is a text file), but for pure indexing purposes that doesn’t matter.

5. Click File > Page Setup > Layout and set paper size to 22 by 22 inches. Why? So Word won’t insert any automatic page breaks and thus throw off pagination.

6. Insert a section break (Insert > Break > Odd page) between the book’s front matter and chapters to prepare for step 7.

7. Put the cursor in the front matter, click Insert > Page Numbers, click the Format button, and specify a number format of lowercase Roman numeral. Also specify that page numbering should start at page i. Then click OK and click OK again.

8. Put the cursor in the first chapter, after the section break, click Insert > Page Numbers, click the Format button, and specify a number format of lowercase Arabic numbers. Also specify that page numbering should start at page 1. Then click OK and click OK again.

Now, when the cursor is in the front matter, the far left side of Word’s status bar will display the correct page number in Roman numerals. When the cursor is in the chapters, the far left side of Word’s status bar will display the correct page number in Arabic numbers. And when the index is generated, the page numbers will be Roman or Arabic as required.

After I was finished with all this, I began indexing with pleasure. Now you can too.



After reading the article on pasting tracked revisions (August 11 issue), Francelia Sevin wrote:

“On my Mac in Word 2001, toggling the track changes on/off doesn’t work. I still cannot copy and paste text and include the tracked changes. I have upgraded with the latest patches for 2001 and that hasn’t made any difference.”

I tried this on my Mac with the same result. It seems Word 2001 doesn’t support this feature. If you’re a Mac user, gentle reader, and know a way around this problem, please let me know.


William T. Buckley wrote:

“What practical use is there for Word’s ‘Bar’ option in setting tab types. (Please, no jokes about my not knowing uses for a bar tab!) ;~) The option looks very handy if I could think of a use for it, but none comes to mind.”

I responded:

To draw a vertical line through the text of your document. 🙂

I found this on Microsoft’s site:

“When you set a bar tab stop, a vertical bar line appears where you set the tab stop (you don’t need to press the TAB key). A bar tab is similar to strikethrough formatting, but it runs vertically through your paragraph at the location of the bar tab stop. Like other types of tabs, you can set a bar tab stop before or after you type the text of your paragraph.”

What that means | is that you could have

some text like | this so you could, say,

compare lines of | poetry or other text.

How about listing foreign language equivalents?

Merci. | Thank you.

Je ne sais pas. | I don’t know.

How about drawing T accounts for use in accounting, or for analyzing pros and cons?





Honestly, until your message, I’d never even heard of this feature. 🙂

But maybe it could come in handy.

Many thanks to Francelia and William.



Microsoft has created an interesting set of multimedia Word tutorials called “So that’s how! Great Word features.” Learn about Word’s new reading layout view, international characters and symbols, and much more:

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