The beauty of The Magic Button is that it has marked all your genealogical names for indexing – now all you have to do is to push yet another magic button and voila!  A beautiful, multi-column index will appear!

It is too easy to create an index for a single document.  Let’s consider that you have several chapters ready to go – that is, by working in a word processor, you have created several chapters , each in its own file, and now you would like to see what your index might look like.  Each file (containing a chapter) has its own name, and since you started with your genealogy software, each file has embedded hidden text:  {XE} field codes for indexing all the names that came from your database.

The secret to indexing is … more hidden text!   This hidden text is called Field Codes, and the one you want is RD (for Reference Document – yeah, not quite as obvious as TOC).

This page applies to: Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007, & Word 2016 for Mac

The RD (Referenced Document) field identifies a file to include when you create a table of contents, or an index with the TOC, TOA, or Index field.  You must manually set starting page numbers and sequence values in files named in RD fields before updating the TOC, TOA, or Index field.

The RD field is formatted as hidden text. To view this field, click Show/Hide   .

Click where you want to insert a field.  Tip: If you know the field code for the field that you want to insert, you can type it directly in your document.  First press CTRL+F9, and then type the code within the brackets.  Note that it will ‘disappear’ when you complete the characters for a legit field code!  Don’t panic!  Remember that all codes are hidden text!

NOTE: RD fields that reference a series of files must be in the same order as the files in the final document. For example, files Chap1 and Chap2 both have an index entry for “apricot” on the first page. The first page number in Chap1 is 1, and the first page number in Chap2 is 100.

  • The sequence {RD Chap2}{RD Chap1}results in the index query “apricot 100, 1”.
  • The sequence {RD Chap1}{RD Chap2}results in the index query “apricot 1, 100”.


When you view the RD field in your document, the syntax looks like this:

{ RD “FileName}

NOTE:  A field code tells the field what to show. Field results are what’s shown in the document after having evaluated the field code. To toggle between viewing the field code and the field code results, press Alt+F9.



File to include when generating a table of contents, table of authorities, or index. If the location includes a long file name with spaces, enclose it in quotation marks. Replace single backslashes with double backslashes to specify the path, for example:

“C:\\My Documents\\Manual.doc”



Indicates that the path is relative to the current document.  I suggest you place all your chapters in one folder, and in that folder you create your Index on a nice new document.


The following fields inserted into one document create a table of contents that includes entries from the three referenced documents:

{ TOC }
 RD C:\\Manual\\Chapters\\Chapter1.doc }
 RD C:\\Manual\\Chapters\\Chapter2.doc }
 RD C:\\Manual\\Chapters\\Chapter3.doc }

So for our work, let’s try:


{ RD \f Robert Benjamin Oder.RTF }
{ RD \f Kate Blacklidge Johnson.RTF }
{ RD \f chp7-2ndEd.doc }

Try it!  You won’t hurt anything!  I promise!


And what if all that shows up on your page is a single short line with INDEX in it:

{INDEX \c “2” \z “1033”}

Well, then you need to select that little Field Code and right click it.  In the dropdown menu that appears you will see “Toggle Field Code” and that’s what you do:  click on Toggle Field Code and your entire index will appear.  This is actually a nice feature, but …

What about word processors other than Microsoft Word?  You can get good results from Corel’s WordPerfect, but otherwise, Legacy gives this ‘warning’:

“The ability of a word processing program to interpret the RTF files produced by Legacy and duplicate the report format, generate Indexes and Table of Contents, etc. will vary from word processor to word processor as well as between different versions of each. Because of this, we do not provide support for working with word processors. Each company that makes a word processor has its own technical support and system of Help files and/or manuals to guide their users.”

References:  The Quarterly of the Albuquerque Genealogical Society has published a detailed article on Indexing Your Family History which can be found online here.  It concludes with several helpful sources and references on the subject.

Troubleshooting:  If you have problems with indexing, I strongly suggest you look at this page from Seth Maislin.