Creating an Index for a scrivener document

I have been using Scrivener for almost two years and feel reasonably comfortable with the core features.

However, for the current project, I need to create an index to place at the end of the book. I searched but did not find any information on how to do this?

Anyone else figure it out? Thanks in advance

You can’t create that type of index in Scrivener — AIUI it would be a significant amount of programming and is out of scope. If you need one, then the idea is that you get the project finished up to the point of creating the index and then compile it to another format for a program which can do it. I think Word still does.

Word 2016 does. It’s in the references tab. The problem is that you need to mark the indexed points. I think there is likely a latex/mmd method for this. Hopefully one of those deity types will come along and save the day…

I wonder if the same method used for a Table of Contents would work–it would still require effort to make the text list. I will report back after trying this.

Ahh, I see why it won’t work to use creating ToC etc for creating an index. They link to documents, not to a page. For a genealogy book one wants every name to be in the index so linking to a document won’t work.

I guess Microsoft Word is the way we have to go. I think the directions of the author here ( were clear. Unfortunately my copies of Microsoft software will no longer run under the new Mac OS and I did not want to purchase AGAIN. So I am still looking for another way.

LibreOffice does this (and 99% else of what Word does)…

You can create an index easily in LaTeX after exporting from Scrivener. If you’ve written your text in Scrivener in Markdown this will be very easy, otherwise, use rtf2latex to create your LaTeX file.

You have to go through your text and mark the entries you want to show in the index.

Another way is to export to pdf and then use a commercial program like pdfindexgenerator to create the index from the pdf file.

I even give a practical example of how one could do that, in the user manual in the section on Advanced Replacements Usage, pg. 566.

If you’d rather not use Word or fiddle with markdown, Mellel 4 has a GREAT Index feature.
As a side note, I really, really wish Scrivener had something similar since, even if you don’t need a traditional index, this feature allows one to tie keywords (& keyword hierarchies) to individual passages of text, not just documents, which IMHO offers a game-changing new degree of precision for plot/characters/motif tracking. For now, back and forth between the two, I guess…

Nisus Writer Pro also has indexing and is a good Word replacement. Mellel is cheaper, but has a quirky interface IMHO, comes with more of a learning curve and uses it’s own file format. NWP is more expensive but has a more standard Mac interface and uses RTF as its native format, so is a very good companion to Scrivener. Both can open and export to DOCX.

They both have their individual advantages, both have trial periods, so my suggestion is install both and see which one works best for you.

Oh, and I had an email from Mellel yesterday offering me a discount. I haven’t yet upgraded to Mellel 4 as for historic reasons use NWP but have always kept a copy of Mellel in the background. The email seemed to imply the discount was available to everyone, but I haven’t explored it.

I have to export from Scrivener then import to Jutoh to do this. Jutoh has supported this forever.

What good is it to finally have the Kindle export fixed if nonfiction writers can’t do something as simple as generate an index? I would have preferred you worked on that major problem before spending time modernizing the look and feel. This is really frustrating.

I don’t know what you’re referring to as “finally” having the Kindle export “fixed” (it works quite fine in v2), but have you considered that maybe it isn’t quite so simple as you think it is? :laughing:

This has been discussed a few times in the past. With a small amount of research you would have found that the main problem is that since indexing requires one to know what page a word falls upon, and Scrivener as a simple writing tool lacks a page layout engine, it doesn’t know where words are, hence it cannot build an index. And now that is simple.

Mellel 4 has an index feature.

Also PDF index Generator -
(Unfortunately, indexed words are not highlighted on the pdf which means wading through the content on the page looking for the search word or phrase)

I was referencing the problem fixed in version 3 with exported files displaying incorrectly in Amazon’s “Look inside” feature and within Kindle desktop applications.

I appreciate the problem isn’t easy to solve, but since Scrivener’s competitors have already resolved the issue, I’d think it would be high on the To Do list—higher than changing the look of the UI.

I had the same issue and finally settled on this page, see image attachment, for my book index page (since I am only publishing as an eBook).

I have since taken notice in other eBooks that I have purchased that many authors do not include indexes.

I really like Scrivener (there, I said it) but I was a bit surprised that it did not do indexing of any kind.

I wonder, wouldn’t the Keywords Feature in Scrivener be the basis for an Indexing Feature? The Key words are already identified by card, when publishing, the Index could at least be an alphabetized list of keywords that are themselves a link (no actual page numbers required). Can this already be done? Maybe ask development team to add this.

Keywords are associated with documents. A document can be many pages long.

While page numbers are not that relevant for ebooks, page-based publication is still quite common.


See also
As is often the case, a certain DOS word processor did it best years ago…

How about this for a solution:

The creation of an index requires marking up text. To create a good index is a skill. Hiring a good indexer is expensive.
For an ebook, the search feature replaces the index, doesn’t it? Except that it doesn’t. Yesterday I looked for the word “cumulative” as in “cumulative footnote numbers.” The word wasn’t used. The word used in the document was “continuous,” but I didn’t know that.
A modern solution would be a word cloud. A word cloud is created automatically. To find the places where a specific topic was mentioned you could use the search function to find the specific topic. An advanced version would make the words in the word clound clickable, but initially this would not be necessary.
So: export your file as an rtf.
Find a word cloud creator online.
Import your rtf file and generate the graphic.
Append the graphic to the end, or even the beginning of the book in Scrivener.
Compile as usual.

For those who’re on Mac and working towards print output, NWP has comprehensive built-in indexing tools. Mellel 4 has basic indexing.