How to create a glossary in Word

Most of us are using Microsoft Word, or with OpenOffice, to format our books and eBooks. Unfortunately, neither one has an automatic feature that will create a glossary. A glossary has to be created manually.

I have seen a gazillion exotic ways to create macros and use VB to do this, ad nauseum.

That’s ridiculous. Anyone who understands the basic concept of Styles can automatically generate a Glossary without a bit of programming or recording macros.

You only have to type the word Glossary to make it happen. That’s all. Otherwise, it is just clicking all the way.

hackTo add a word or a term to a glossary, create it as a Style.

To do that, open the Styles palette.

Create a new Style and name it Glossary.

For “Style Based On:” choose Normal, or whatever Style you are using for the body text style.

For “Style for Following Paragraph:” choose Normal, or whatever Style you are using for the body text style.

Click “Okay” to save the Glossary Style.

Manually locate every word or phrase you want to include in the Glossary.

Change the style for that text to Glossary by highlighting the text and clicking on Glossary in your Styles palette.

Do that for every word or phrase you want included in the Glossary.


Once you are finished, go back to the Styles palette.

Now, carefully click on the dropdown next to the Glossary style you created.

Choose “Select All X Instances” (“X” will tell you the number of Glossary entries you have selected).

Click Control + C to copy all instances.

Now move your cursor to the location in your document where you want the Glossary to appear.

Click Control + P to paste all Glossary (style) entries at the current location.

Every bit of text you formatted as Glossary style will appear.

Go to your browser and delete all the bookmarks to the endless number of webpages explaining how to waste a whole lot of time programming and breathe a sigh of relief because you will never need to look at them. 

You’re welcome!


Bonus Hack: Once you create the Glossary and save your file, you can safely format all text as any other Style. You only need the Glossary style until you generate the Glossary.