MACREX TIPS (in no particular order)

Here are some handy tips. We welcome tips from all MACREX users. Email us with your ideas! We include a draft index to the tips at the bottom of this section and also an .MBK file for you to use to modify the index. To download the .mbk file click here.


If any of the tips below are not clear let us know!




CTRL K                         Will locate an entry by typing in its line number. To go straight to any entry in the index you can type  CTRL K followed by the line number (the number to the left of the entry). This is particularly useful a) when you are editing a page number order file: before finishing an editing session, make a note of the line number you have reached. When you start indexing again, simply type CTRL K and the number you have noted (but see below, macros in item 17) and b) when you are editing a very large index with a considerable number of entries under a particular heading. There are built-in macros (described in tip 16 below) for storing and retrieveing the line number. This is useful if you make a backup file and want to get back to the same place afterwards .                               


Insert On/Off              Insert On has a cursor twice the size of the Insert Off cursor          


<escape>                     followed by <ENTER> can be used instead of typing the line number to access the most recently typed entry for correction, addition or amendment


en-dash                       The MACREX macro for an en-dash is ALT hyphen


F1                                If in doubt, press F1. This is your “panic button”


comma                        separates headings from subheadings, subheadings from sub-subheadings, etc. and individual locators from each other.


{,}                                 a `soft’ comma, which will not force a subheading and is therefore used in names, etc, e.g. Brown{,} Fred


\bold\                          bold text is enclosed in backslashes


^italic^                        italic text is enclosed in carets


{[A]}Small{[a]}             code for Small caps


{[S]}super{[s]}              code for superscripts


{[U]}sub{[u]}                code for subscripts


~text~                          text is sorted but not printed, e.g. “~aa~this is the beginning” to force an entry to the top of the alphabetical sequence


{text }                          text is printed but not sorted, e.g. “{beta-}galactoside” to make this entry file under G rather than under B.





When editing an entry, up-arrow takes you to the beginning of an entry; down-arrow takes you to the end of the entry (<HOME> and <END> work as well). Left-arrow moves the cursor one character to the left; right-arrow moves the cursor one character to the right.  Ctrl+left and right arrows move the cursor one word to the right or left and ALT+left and right arrows move the cursor one heading level to the right or left.




F9 repeats ALL the locators from the previous entry; F11 repeats the last locator only.




Pressing Return/Enter will add the completed to the index - wherever the cursor is on the line. It will NOT delete the rest of the entry. If you press Return/Enter and have not added a locator a message will appear asking you to add a locator. If you don’t want a locator, press Return/Enter again. If you want to repeat the locator from the previous entry, you can press F11 from anywhere in the entry and the locator from the previous entry will appear at the end of your entry preceded by a space. You can press F11/F9 when the program asks for a locator if one is needed. To accept an entry with no locator simply press Enter a second time.

To delete everything in an entry to the right of the cursor, press <escape>.



The “Number” feature in MACREX, accessed using `Boolean’ grouping (CTRL-SHIFT-H) and selecting the option “Number”, will group together all entries containing a certain page number (for example if you chose 1 you would see only the entries that had a reference to page 1, not those with a 1 in the number, such as 21 or 111; similarly using 10 would not display 103, and 100 would not show entries on pages 1000 and 2100). If there are less than 1000 pages in the book you don’t need to use the Number option for three digit numbers, although it would still work.



Your current index will be saved automatically in its current form when you Quit (save and exit) MACREX. Nevertheless, you should save (back up) your index frequently. Press B - make a backup file to “Save” your index entries in an .MBK file. This file is a text file which contains all the entries in your index at the time you make the .MBK file. The .MBK file  can be loaded using R - Read a backup file - but only do this if you need to reconstitute an index if one has been lost due to a power cut or other failure. R - Read a backup file is the equivalent of “Load” and should never be used while working on an existing index because all the entries in the backup file will be added to the existing index.



If you keep several indexes in the same directory (folder), open MACREX, choose the drive you want, and at the next screen, which displays all your indexes in the current directory, and press <escape> to bring the cursor up to the end of the second line on the screen where it says  "Current file specification is" (version 7) or "Files matching" (version 8). Use the left arrow key to move the cursor to the dot immediately preceding "INF" (version 7 and earlier versions of MACREX) or "MX8" (version 8) and type in the text you want to use to restrict the search - e.g."*basic*.inf" (version 7) or "*basic*.mx8" (version 8). You might find you only need to type a few characters, (e.g. *bas*.inf) in order to locate the index or indexes you want. You can use this system at any of the file selector screens. .[note that there will already be one asterisk there]



If you want your see references to have a comma after the first term, you can enclose it in curly brackets, e.g.


flats{,} ^see^ apartments


See references in this form can be checked for consistency in the same way as any other cross-reference, and if you always use this format you can change your ALT-F2 macro (to produce ^see^ automatically) to include the “soft” comma.




This can be done using the Page number option in the Utilities menu. Apart from the straightforward conversion of the whole index to page number order, the “page number” option also allows you to extract all the entries from a range of page, volume or page/volume numbers into a separate file. Just choose option B after pressing P for the Page number option and put in the first and last page and/or volume number required and then choose a file name.



ELISION (‘Squashing’ page ranges)

Styles: you can set the Merge program to several different styles - we call these ‘squashes’. This name dates from the earliest version of MACREX in 1972. We could have changed it to ‘elision’, but we rather like it, so we’ve kept it.


The number of styles has increased, and the names of some of them have changed, over the years. If you want to use your own style and ignore the ones we suggest you can change option F - Squash page references to ‘No’.


If you leave option F as ‘Yes’ there are several different styles accessible from option G - Type of Squash on the Merge options menu. An explanation appears on screen when you press option G: ‘This option determines the way in which concatenated page references will be treated. E.g. “111-117” will be “squashed” to “111-7” on maximum but to “111-17” on the Oxford Guide to Style (previously Hart’s Rules) which is the default setting.


Here’s a run-down of the settings other than Oxford Guide to Style (Hart’s Rules) settings most frequently used by British indexers (we also provide settings for three different Chicago Manual of Style elision styles).                                                      


The option ‘Unsquash’ is in fact what is also known as ‘full-out’, i.e. if you type in 111-7 or 111-17 and have chosen this option, what will appear is 111-117 when you press Enter to complete the entry. This option is recommended in ISO 999 and is probably the most commonly used setting worldwide.


The ‘Penguin’ option (versions 7 and 8 only) is becoming more and more frequently used. We called it Penguin because we were alerted to its existence first by someone doing an index for Penguin, but it is used by many other publishers as well. The principle is that numbers should be squashed to the maximum, except that the squash must not encompass 0s and teens are not squashed, e.g.

cheese 100-101, cows, 20-22, dogs 240-47, elephants, 117-18, monkeys, 83-7, ostriches 14-15, servals 127-8.


If you find you are asked to use a completely different ‘squashing’ method from any offered, get in touch with us and we will try to incorporate it into the program.



SMALL CAPS (versions 7 and 8 only)

To use small caps in your index the codes needed are {[A]}Small Caps{[a]}. These codes will be converted to small caps in your RTF file. If you type {[A]}Small Caps{[a]} you will find that the capital letters remain as large caps and that the lower case letters are converted to small caps. There's also a short cut CTRL-SHIFT-A which will automatically produce the codes for small caps and position the cursor between the two codes so that you can type the text you need immediately.



Punctuation of page ranges in MACREX

When making entries in MACREX you need to type a hyphen to link numbers in a range, but  you can change this to anything else - an en-dash, em-dash, the word ‘to’ etc., at the print stage. The option to check is in the Output/Print menu under Change and Check Layout menu H - page number concatenator. There is a macro for an en-dash in MACREX <ALT>- (alt-hyphen). It’s often hard to distinguish between the appearance of the hyphen and the en-dash, but the en-dash is definitely longer than the hyphen.




It has become obvious to us from posts on Sideline that we have not advertised the existence of the Restyle option well enough. ReStyle was incorporated into the main Macrex program in 1991 (and was previously a stand-alone utility sent out with Macrex from 1987). To locate this feature press U from the Main Menu (v7 or 8) and then S. If you have a version 7 manual you can find ReStyle described in section 9 - Utilities - subsection 9.6; if you have version 8 this part of the version 7 manual is reproduced in the temporary help file “Version 7 Macrex Utilities Subprogram”.


ReStyle allows you to capitalize/convert to lower case, embolden, italicize (ReStyle still says “underline” but should read“italicize”) main headings, subheadings at any level, locators (volume number and/or page numbers) and/or cross-references - at a stroke. For headings and subheadings you can choose to restyle the first letter, first word, or whole heading; for “page numbers” you can choose to restyle page numbers, volume numbers or both.


Probably the most frequently used ReStyle option is emboldening all main headings. To do this, type U, then S from the Main Menu, put the cursor on level 1, move it down to “bold” and type H (upper case). Then press Enter. When you go back to your index you will find that all the main headings are in bold. To cancel this, just go back to ReStyle (U - S from the Main Menu) and type lower case h where previously you typed upper case H and press Enter.

WARNING: Another frequently used application for ReStyle is to capitalize all first letters - which works fine, but DON’T reverse the process. If you do, you’ll find all your proper names beginning with a lower case letter.


If you only want to embolden certain headings there is is a new macro in version 8 (CTRL-SHIFT-B) which will produce the Macrex bold codes and position the cursor between the two backslashes. For more information on this (and other similar macros for italics, super- and sub-scripts and small caps) look in the version 8 help file “Keystroke shortcuts”.


It’s also possible in version 8 to capitalize (or change to lower case) the first letter of any word in a heading. You can find these keystrokes described in the “Editing keystrokes” help file - at the bottom of the list “Changing the text while editing an entry”.




By cumulative backups, we mean that every time you back up a completely new backup file is made. This means that if you accidentally do something bad to your index but don’t realise and back up, you don’t overwrite your previous (good) backup file with the current (bad) index. If you do find out that this has happened you can step back sequentially until you find the last good copy.


There are three options relating to cumulative backups in version 8 of Macrex, although there’s only one in v7.  In version 7 you have to make backups deliberately; in version 8 the default is for a backup to be made every time you exit the program.


The option common to both version 7 and version 8  is on Options menu 1, option 3 - Cumulative backup?. This option can be used to make a backup file with a new name that is generated automatically whenever you make backup file. The same option also appears on the Backup file submenu when you are making a backup file (both v7 and v8). The setting (Yes/No) for this option will be saved whenever you save a MACREX options file. If it is set to Yes the prompt for overwriting a file name will not appear when making a backup file with the same name as a previous one. Instead a unique new file name will be generated for each save with a distinctive name. Each file has an MBK extension.


In version 8 only, If MACREX Options Menu 2, H - Cumulative backup on exit? is set to Yes a cumulative backup file will be made in the same way every time you exit from MACREX. The file name will follow the same process as for option 3 on Options menu 1 but means that if you accidentally make changes that you really did not want to your index, you can abandon it, start a new one, and load most recent backup file before the changes.


Again in version 8 only, the setting for the number of cumulative backup files (on MACREX Options Menu 2, option I - Number of cumulative backup files?) limits the total number of files that will be generated before the first is overwritten. The default is 5, so when you make a sixth backup the oldest existing backup file will be deleted.



Many MACREX users like to make a macro for backing up, and this has been possible since version 5 - all you need to do after choosing your macro key combination is to include all the keystrokes involved in making a backup file and getting back to the Inspect screen.

In version 8 we have included special keystrokes specifically for making macros, which “hard-set” the options (e.g. insert on/off, wildcards on/off) so that the macro will work in any circumstance. In addition we have added two extra keystrokes which allow you to go back to the exact screen you left before making the macro. ALT-L stores the current screen, and ALT-SHIFT-L takes you back to that screen from wherever you are.


The information for these options can be found in the v8 help files - the relevant help files are General Options Menu 1, General Options Menu 2, and Macros (see especially “Special keystrokes for use with macros”).




All features from previous versions of Macrex are present in version 8, but there are many new features. These include an autocomplete / authority file option; an option to change all headings when one is changed; the use of a single keystroke to create an RTF or text file; the .MWP settings for making an RTF file are now loaded into the program as the default although a layout file (press P and then L from the outPut menu and choose one of the STANDARD*.LAY files) needs to be loaded (see”Help for previous users”); a completely redesigned main menu; help files accessible from the program and online documentation; more built-in macros -  and many more new features - contact us for details. Existing users can load backup files from any previous version of MACREX into version 8, and settings saved in version 6 or 7 can be loaded into version 8. Version 8 has retained nearly all the keystrokes from version 7 so that upgrading to version 8 should be almost seamless.



MAKING AN INSTANT .RTF FILE IN VERSION 8 (option F from the Main Menu)

The F option in version 8 will, by default, produce an index in what we hope is the most commonly used format; however, if you wish to you can produce an index from option F in exactly the format you want. To set this up, load STANDARD.LAY (indented subheadings) or STANDARDRUNON.LAY (run-on subheadings) into the Print/Output subprogram, change any of the options you feel need changing (there’s a complete list in the help files), make a series of .RTF files until you’re satisfied that the layout is exactly what you want, and then call up option Q and choose option A - Save current layout as a QSU file, and instead of just pressing Enter and choosing the file name suggested, click, or press F5 to bring down “rtfdefault.qsu” and press Enter twice and confirm that you want to overwrite the existing file. From then on, pressing F will produce the index in your chosen format. You can change this at any time, and if you find you want the original back just let us know and we’ll email you a copy.




You can turn off the authority table altogether, or turn it off for editing and turn it on again when adding more entries, by going to the Authority Table Options Menu, choosing option B (Use table of authorities) and changing this from Yes to No. If you don’t want to use END to pick up a heading from the autocomplete box you can choose to use ALT-END or CTRL-ALT-E instead by changing option Y on Options Menu 2 to “No”.




Keywords can be made from practically anywhere in the program in version 8 by pressing<CTRL><SHIFT>K. This option, which is described in detail in the Keywords help file, is far more versatile than the older option (CTRL-A), although CTRL-A will still work in exactly the same say as it did in earlier versions of the program.




Most users are familiar with F5 (the “Yank”feature) which allows you to pick up headings or subheadings from anywhere on the screen, but not many realise that there is a toggle which allows you to pick up a single word rather than a heading and put it into the entry you’re working on. Simply press F2 after pressing F5. A single word will be highlighted rather than the whole heading. Pressing F2 again will highlight the whole heading again.




You can set the first and last page and/or volume number of the text being indexed and be alerted when you key in an out-of-range locator. You can find this option in Merge options Menu 2 (M for Merge, C for Change options, 0 - zero - to get to the Menu 2).  You can also check existing indexes for out-of-range page numbers - look at option J - tag pages out of range. If you need help for this feature press L.



KEYSTROKES SHORTCUTS HELP FILE (version 8 only)  We now include alternatives for most of the Macrex keystrokes. These were introduced initially for for Mac users, but can also be very helpful for people with laptops with unusual keyboard layouts, and for some new desktop keyboards too. Macs and some keyboards don’t have the NumLock and Scroll Lock keys; CTRL-SHIFT-N will switch the num lock function on and off and CTRL-SHIFT-G will do the same for the Scroll lock.





We have mentioned before that Macrex offers the facility to load a backup file made with any version of Macrex into any other version of the program. In addition, it is very easy to transfer keywords and macros from version 7 to version 8.


Users of version 8 who have upgraded from version 7 may be concerned that they cannot find the Utility programs available in version 7. However, STRIPNT.EXE, HEADINGSNT.EXE, VOLFRIG.EXE and SELECTNT.EXE are all included in the version 8 distribution. You will find them all in your “indexes” folder which can be accessed either from the Command prompt or via Windows Explorer. Please note, however, that these utility programs CANNOT be used with Windows 7.




When MACREX imports a comma delimited text file (ie simply a comma separating each field) it will treat each comma as generating a new heading level. However, if the spreadsheet or database file is exported as a comma / quote delimited file, MACREX can import this more intelligently. For example if Jones, A.B. was in the first field and page references such as  111, 213  in the second, the export file would read

"Jones, A. B.","111, 213"


In this case MACREX will convert all the commas within a field to “soft” commas except in the final field. For the final field it will check if it consists of page references, and if so it will leave them as “hard” commas. Although many programs will export a comma / quote delimited file, Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and 2007 do not, although earlier versions did this. However Microsoft provide a macro to do this. It is a bit tortuous, but it does work. It is on


If the file you wish to import has separate fields for “surname” and “first name” you will need to merge the two fields to one by saving the file as a CSV (Comma-Separated Values) file from Microsoft Excel, and then using Notepad (a text editor supplied with all versions of Windows in the Accessories folder) to put curly braces around the commas. Note that if each locator has a separate field, these fields will similarly need to be merged and re-imported into the spreadsheet before exporting to Macrex, so that all the locators appear in the final field and will be recognised by Macrex as locators rather than text.

Macrex 8 provides specific saving and loading options for spreadsheets:

You can import a file using “Import a file” from the first drop-down menu on the Main Menu, or “R - Read and Correct a backup file or Import a file” from the Utilities subprogram. It’s possible to choose between a text file or a database file (option A). Choosing the former will import a comma-delimited file, while the latter will read a comma / quote delimited file. Option B allows you to set the character coding for accented characters etc. To export a file to a spreadsheet or database, click on the “Output” tag and choose “Database/text output” or, alternatively, choose “E - Export a file” from the Utilities submenu.



Go go Utilities submenu, choose Index Statistics, and then choose Page refs per entry.  At option A (maximum number of page refs) change from 5 (the default) to 1. Then change option B (tag excessive page references) to Yes.

Leave as (or change) option C (text to tag references) to {!!}.

Press M twice (this will return you to the Main Menu). All entries with more than one reference will be tagged.

Then, back in your index, turn on wildcards by pressing F2 until “Ignore case, with wild” appears, choose Boolean grouping (CTRL-SHIFT-H).

For first string, type

?* <enter>

Then choose AND NOT as the Boolean operator.

For the second string choose

\{\!\!\}<enter> [each character must be preceded with a backslash]

You will then be presented with all the entries with only one page reference/locator, grouped.



If you are having trouble converting a Word document to an MBK file please get in touch with us. We have a sheet which we can send you which summarizes the process needed to convert files. Note that you can use the underline key to indicate where subheadings, sub-subheadings, etc. should be duplicated. These underlines will be converted to repeated headings, subheadings, etc. if you use the option “Import a file”.                   



Any entry beginning with a query (?) is filed (in entry order and not sorted or printed) at the end of the index. This is where you can put your questions for the publisher, notes on typos and other mistakes, reminders to check names in dictionaries, etc. Some people use the query file as a half-way house before deleting entries. If you're not sure you really want to get rid of an entry you can precede it with a query and retrieve it later if necessary. Yet others use the query file as a half-way house when making entries - they put all the entries for the day in the query file (this means that all the entries appear in the order in which they were typed) and only remove the question mark at the end of the indexing session, having rechecked all the entries already made.

To find queries type

?<enter> (versions 7 and  8)

(or \?<enter> if you are searching using wildcards (v6; optional in v7 and v8)

at the ==Ready prompt.

Although the query file is not normally printed you can do so by choosing ? as the first letter and ? as the last letter for printing.



In v7 and v8, at the top centre of the Inspect and edit screen there is a message that tells you the current method that will be used for searching.  the four options are:

Ignore case/no wild

Respect case/no wild

Ignore case/with wild

Respect case/with wild


You can rotate between these options by pressing F2.  The term "wild" applies to the use of wildcards.  These allow ambiguous searches (see below) that can be very useful.  (Wildcards are always active on MACREX Version 6.)  When one of the"with wild" options is selected, some characters (those which are also used as 'wildcards' themselves) need to be preceded by a backslash when using + or - (search forwards and backwards), CTRL A (search and replace),  CTRL H (group) and CTRL-SHIFT-H (Boolean grouping).

When wildcards are turned off, all except the hyphen can be found or grouped by simply typing the single character (?,^,\). To GROUP (CTRL-H) all hyphenated words (e.g.'Bowes-Lyon', 'self-assessment') or page ranges you need to precede the hyphen with a backslash even when wildcards are turned on; the hyphen by itself is fine when using + or - or CTRL-A (search and replace).

When wildcards are turned on, to find a question mark (?) in the index type


to find a caret(^) type


to find a hyphen (-) type


and to find a backslash (\) type


When searching and replacing you only need to use the backslash in the 'Find' string. Thus, to replace




you should type


at the 'Find' prompt



at the Replace prompt.




(a) the caret sign ^


^ (the caret sign) has two quite separate uses in MACREX. Most users know that any text enclosed in ^^ indicates underlined or italic text. However, in editing, ^ has a quite different meaning. If you search for, e.g.


you will only find entries beginning with


rather than all entries containing the word houses, e.g. 'town houses', 'country houses'


(b) the dollar sign $

Text or figures followed by $ will only look for that text at the end of the entry.


will only find an entry ending with an alphabetical character (:a - alphabetical character)

(this can be useful for locating entries without page numbers)



will only find an entry ending with a number (:d - digit)


will find all the entries ending with the page numbers 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49.




If, as is most likely, the dates in your entries consist of four digits (1945, 1789 etc.) and you have fewer than 1000 pages in the book you are indexing, a good way to locate the entries containing dates is to use


as your search or group text. :d is a wildcard which will find numbers only (see above). So :d:d:d:d will find any number between 1000 and 9999. If you want to refine the search you can combine the wildcard with actual numbers; e.g. 19:d:d will find dates between 1900 and 1999 and 18:d:d will find dates between 1800 and 1899.


If you have a date at the end of an entry before the locators you will need to add a “blocker” (F7) after the date so that it doesn’t get confused with the locators.




ALT 1 will allow you to save the index to disk while on the A - Add entries or the I - add, Inspect and edit menu without going back to the main menu.





Press 1 from the main OutPut menu and you will get Change and Check Layout menu 1; press 2 from the main OutPut menu and you will get Change and Check Layout menu 2; press 3 from the main OutPut menu and you will get Change and Check Layout menu 3; press 4 from the main OutPut menu and you will get the Macrex Volume/Page number menu (also accessed from option J on menu 2)




If you hate moving your hand out of the normal typing position to prod your function keys try these alternatives (they don't necessarily work in reverse!)



F3 - CTRL O (but this doesn't do an 'intelligent' flip)




F12 - CTRL K (but F12 isn't an alternative for CTRL K meaning Goto line)

Also -

Insert on/off - CTRL V

Home - CTRL E

End - CTRL X



SEARCHING FOR NUMBERS (see tip 5 for searching for single and double digit numbers)

When using + or - or CTRL A (find and replace) you can simply type the number (e.g. +245 or -245).

In v7 and f8, press F2 until the message at the top centre of the screen reads Ignore case/no wild and you can select entries simply by typing 245<CTRL-H>.  On version 6, or if you have with wild set on v7 or v8, you must precede the number with a ?. So to group all the entries on page 245 type

?245<CTRL H>



USING THE HEADINGS FROM A PREVIOUS INDEX AS THE BASIS FOR A NEW INDEX (v7 and earlier; in v8 see Authority/Autocomplete Options help file)

Use the backup file from your previous index. UNLESS YOU HAVE WINDOWS 7 - which doesn’t allow you to use the Macrex Utility programs) at the Command prompt (not in MACREX) type


You will then be given a choice of two options:

1 to make a list of all the main headings

2 to strip all the page numbers from each entry

Choose option 1. Enter the name of your MBK file and choose a new name for the headings list. Press <RETURN> at the next two prompts and your heading list will be created. This can be loaded into a new index as though it were a backup file.  It doesn't matter what the backup file is called - any or no extension is acceptable.




Open a new (empty) index and load each MBK file you wish to cumulate into it, use option U - Utilities menu from the main menu and then option R - Read and Correct a backup file in the. Now you can begin the mammoth task of editing the cumulated file!




Press F2 until the message at the top centre of the screen reads Ignore case/with wild

Assuming that you have put titles in italics, to locate most (but not all) titles(entries beginning with an italicized letter) at the beginning of an entry type

^\^<CTRL H> (for use of backslash with reserved characters - in this case ^ - see tip 29)

This will produce on screen all the entries beginning with a caret.

To locate most (but not all) subjects (entries beginning with a lower-case letter) first of all press F2 so that the message at the top of the screen reads Search respects case and then type


This will locate all the entries beginning with a lower-case in the entire index. (The [] are wildcards which indicate that any character within them is included in the search)


To locate all names in entries you can use {,} as the search string. There may well be some non-name entries containing {,} but you can ignore them. If you want to refine the search further you can combine elements in a search. For example (first turn wildcards ON),


will find all the entries beginning with upper-case A, B, C and D which also contain {,}.

Entries without page numbers: If you’re making a list without page numbers you will get an alert asking for a page number after you’ve finished writing the entry. Just press Enter again and all will be well. If you inadvertently put an entry in twice you can remove this by pressing C from the Main Menu several times.

If you inadvertently load a backup file into an existing index using the R - Read a backup option you can similarly press C to remove duplicates. However, you may find that you have two different versions of the same entry so care is needed.




An RTF file is in fact a coded ASCII file (and therefore possible to send as an email or as a series of emails in an emergency) and can be read into any version of Word and into the more recent Windows versions of WordPerfect and many other word processors. It can also be read into Pagemaker and other publishing systems without any alteration being necessary.

To make a Word RTF file of your index you can either simply press F from the Main Menu, or press  P for OutPut.

At the main OutPut menu press L and for version 8 users, load in one of the STANDARD.LAY files - choose the one which is closest to what you want. (US users and UK v7 and earlier users use a different system - see your manual). Now edit the file if you need to change the settings from those you see in front of you (for example, if you wish to have header letters omitted, more or fewer spaces between text and first page number, etc. etc.).                                           

 It is important to point out that any previous settings you may have made to the layout will be cancelled when you load in the layout file. When you have finished your alterations press RETURN to get back to the main OutPut menu. In version 8 THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. You do not need to make any changes to O - Optional Printing Features. For earlier versions of the program see your manual.

Now press V (View index). Do not be put off by the appearance of the file at this moment! What you are seeing is not `gobblydegook’ but the coding necessary to make an RTF file. These codes will turn into indents, etc., when you load the file into Word or any of the other word processors comp atible with RTF.  When you have seen enough, press F1 and then A (abandon). Now press  W - make a word processor file and follow the instructions on screen. Your file will, if you are using version 8, automatically appear in your default word processor (usually Microsoft Word).

The file produced in this way will have the extension .RTF. If you save the file again in Word it will have a .DOC or DOCX extension by default.




This is a draft index to the tips. To download the .MBK file of this index for you to add, delete or modify entries click here.


alerts see error messages

alphabetical characters, wildcard to locate  30

ALT-1, to save to disk  32

ALT-END, use to access autocomplete/authority file in v8 of MACREX  19

ALT-F2 macro (for ‘see’)  8

ALT-hyphen, as macro for en-dash  1

ALT-L, to store current screen (when making macros)  15

ALT-left/right arrow  2

ALT-SHIFT-L, to return to current screen (when making macros)  15

ambiguous searches  29

AND NOT Boolean operator  26

Apple Macintosh users, keystrokes in v8 of MACREX for Mac users  23

arrow keys  2

asterisk, as wildcard, searching and replacing  29

authority file option in v8 of MACREX  17

turning off  19

autocomplete option in v8 of MACREX  17

turning off  19

automatic save  6


backing up your index (B - make a Backup file)  6


use with wildcard characters  29

see also bold text

backup files

cumulative  15

inadvertently loaded into existing index  38

loading into v8 from previous versions of MACREX  17

nature of  6

.BAK extension  15

‘blocker’ (F7), use after date as final text element in entry  31

bold text

backslash to produce bold text  1

emboldening complete headings  14

macro to produce  14

see also backslash

Boolean grouping  5

AND NOT Boolean operator  26

‘Number’ feature  5

use for identifying entries with only one locator  26

using wildcards  29

brackets (braces) see curly brackets; ‘soft’ comma; square brackets


C (combined sort and merge from Main Menu), to remove unwanted duplicates  38


first letter of every word in a heading  14

whole headings  14

see also case of letters


grouping all entries beginning with a caret  38

as wildcards  30

searching and replacing  29

see also italics

case of letters

changing first letters  14

in headings, changing  14

lower-case letter as first letter of entry, grouping  38

see also letters

Change and Check Layout Options menus, shortcuts  33

changing case see case of letters

changing headings, in v8 of MACREX  17


in .RTF file  39

for small caps  1, 11

for subscripts  1

for superscripts  1

text printed not sorted  1

text sorted not printed  1

comma-delimited text files, importing into MACREX  25

comma/quote delimited files, importing into MACREX  25


before ‘see’ references  8

in database files, conversion to soft commas within a field  25

to separate headings  1

see also ‘soft’ comma

completing entries  4

concatenating page ranges see ‘squashing’ page ranges

control keys

as alternatives to function keys  34


searching using wildcards  29

to make keywords  20

CTRL-B  34

CTRL-C  34

CTRL-E  34

CTRL-F  34

CTRL-H see grouping

CTRL-K  34

to locate an entry  1

CTRL-left/right arrow keys  2

CTRL-O  34

CTRL-Q  34

CTRL-ALT-E, use to access autocomplete/authority file in v8 of MACREX  19

CTRL-SHIFT-A macro for small caps  11

CTRL-SHIFT-G, as alternative to Scroll Lock in v8 of MACREX  23

CTRL-SHIFT-H see Boolean grouping

CTRL-SHIFT-K, to make keywords in v8 of MACREX  20

CTRL-SHIFT-N, as alternative to Num Lock in v8 of MACREX  23

CTRL-T  34

CTRL-V  34

CTRL-X  34


restyling  14

see also ‘see’ references

CTRL and CTRL-SHIFT keys see control keys

cumulating files  37

cumulative backups, making  15

curly brackets

text printed not sorted  1

see also ‘soft’ commas

‘Current file specification’  7

current screen, storing in macros  15


deleting all of entry to right of cursor  4

moving using arrow keys  2

size  1


database files, importing and exporting  25

dates in entries  31

locating  31

see also numbers in entries

deleting parts of an entry  4

desktop keyboards, alternative keystrokes in v8 of MACREX  23

digits, wildcard to locate  30

.DOC, DOCX extensions  39

dollar sign, as wildcard, searching and replacing  29

double digit locators, using Boolean grouping to group  5

doubling up entries by mistake  6, 38

down-arrow, to go to end of entry  2

duplicating entries

by mistake  6, 38

removing duplicates  38


‘Editing keystrokes’ help file  14

editing a page number order file, locating entries using CTRL-K  1

elision see ‘squashing’ page ranges

emboldening see bold


distinguishing from hyphens  12

macro  1

End key

control key alternative  34

use to access autocomplete/authority file in v8 of MACREX  19

changing keystroke  19

Enter key, to complete an entry  4


accessing most recently typed entry  1

‘blockers’ (F7), use after date as final text element  31

completing  4

deleting all of entry to right of cursor  4

duplicated in error  6, 38

extracting all entries within a page range  9

grouping  5

identifying different kinds of entry  38

identifying with only one reference  26

locating by number  1

restyling  14

without locators  4, 38

error messages

entries without locators  4, 38

out of range locators  22

escape key

to access most recently added entry  1

to delete entry to right of cursor  4

use when changing file selection  7

existing index files, conversion to MACREX format  27

existing indexes, checking for out of range locators  22

Exit and Save  6

exiting the program, backup made each time  15

exporting spreadsheets in v7 and 8 of MACREX  25

extracting all entries within a page range into a separate file  9


F option, v8 of MACREX  18

F1 (etc.) keys see function keys

faulty index, abandoning  15


database files to MACREX  25

merging  25

file selector screen, restricting choice  7

file selector screens, finding indexes  7

files, loading (reading) and saving (Make a backup file option)  6

‘Files matching’  7

finding queries  28

finding text at beginning/end of entry  30

first letter of entry, restyling  14

first locator (volume or page number) of text, setting in v8 of MACREX  22

first word of entry, restyling  14

fonts see small caps

full-out page ranges  10

function keys

control key alternatives  34

F1  1, 34

F2  21, 29, 34

F3  34

F4  34

F5  21, 34

F6  34

F7 see ‘blocker’

F9, to repeat all locators from previous entry  3

F11, to repeat locator from previous entry  3

F12, control key alternative  34


‘gobbldegook’ in RTF files  39

grouping (CTRL-H)

all entries with same locator  5

entries with lower-case letter as first letter of entry  38

numbers in entries  5, 35

searching using wildcards  29


‘hard’ coding of macros  15


changing all when one changed, in v8 of MACREX  17

moving one heading left/right  2

restyling  14

headings from a previous index, using as the basis for a new index  36


help files in v8 of MACREX  14, 17

hiding text from the sort  1

Home key, control key alternative  34


searching and replacing  29

as wildcard, searching and replacing  29


identifying different kinds of entry  38

entries with only one locator  26

Ignore case/no wild  29

Ignore case/with wild  29

importing spreadsheets in v7 and 8 of MACREX  25


locating on file selector screen  7

made with other programs, conversion to MACREX format  27

.INF files in version 7 and earlier, locating  7

Insert On/Off  1

control key alternative  34

and ‘hard’ coding of macros  15


carets to produce italic text  1

italicizing headings  14

macro to produce italic  14

see also carets


joining index files  37


keyboards, unusual layouts, accommodating in v8 of MACREX  23

keystroke shortcuts help file  14, 23

keystrokes, alternatives in v8 of MACREX  23


use in v8 of MACREX  20

v7, loading into v8 of MACREX  24


laptop keyboards, alternative keystrokes in v8 of MACREX  23

last locator (page or volume number) of text, setting in v8 of MACREX  22

layout files (.LAY files)

choosing for making .RTF files  39

use in v8 of MACREX  17

Layout options

changing  18

shortcuts to menus  33

left-arrow, to move cursor one character to the left  2


wildcard to locate aphabetical characters  30

see also case of letters

line number, to locate entry  1

list of main headings, created using HEADINGSNT.EXE  36

loading (Reading) files  6

inadvertent loading of files  38

warning  6

see also Read a backup file!!

locating entries, using CTRL K  1


out of range of text, alert  22

repeating  3, 4

restyling  14

stripping from existing .MBK file  36

lower-case letters see case of letters


Mac users, keystrokes in v8 of MACREX 23


ALT-F2 macro for ‘see’  8

ALT-hyphen as en-dash  1

for backing up index  16

built-in, in v8 of MACREX  17

CTRL-SHIFT-A for small caps  11

CTRL-SHIFT-B for bold  14

CTRL-SHIFT-I for italic  14

CTRL-SHIFT-T for superscript  14

CTRL-SHIFT-U for subscript  14

‘hard’ coding  16

loading v7 macros into v8 of MACREX  24

new keystrokes in version 8  16

Main Menu, redesign in v8 of MACREX  17

.MBK extension  15

.MBK files, use with HEADINGSNT.EXE  36

Merge subprogram

options  10

‘squashing’ (eliding) page ranges  10

merging, fields  25

Microsoft Excel, importing of files into MACREX  25

Microsoft Word

.DOC, DOCX extensions  39

existing index files, conversion to MACREX format  27

.RTF files  39

conversion to MACREX format  27

single keystroke in v8 of MACREX  17

single keystroke in v8 of MACREX  17

details  18

minus sign, to search up index  29

moving from v7 to v8 of MACREX  24

.MWP settings, use in v8 of MACREX  17

.MX8 files in version 8, locating  7


names in entries, grouping  38

Num Lock key, alternatives in v8 of MACREX  23

Number of cumulative backup files  15

‘Number’ feature (Boolean grouping)  5

numbers in entries  5

searching  5, 35

see also dates in entries; digits


O - Optional Printing Features menu  39

out of range locators, alert  22

OutPut options see Layout options; Q option


Page number option, Utilities menu, use for making new index from range of pages  9

page numbers see locators

page ranges in index

punctuation  12

searching using wildcards  29

‘squashing’ (eliding)  10

styles  10

pages of text

making a separate index from section of book  9

restricting range  22

panic button (F1)  1

‘Penguin’ squash (elision) of page ranges  10

plus sign, to search down index  29

previously created indexes, checking for out of range locators  22

punctuation, page ranges  12


Q option

in OutPut menu  18

to leave the program  6

.QSU file, use in v8 of MACREX  18

query file, uses  28

question mark

at beginning of entry  28

locating entries containing, wildcards on  29


Read a backup file (loading an index file)  6

inadvertent use  38

repeating all locators from previous entry  3

repeating last locator from previous entry  3, 4

replacing the MACREX ‘reserved’ characters  29

replacing text, and wildcards  29

‘reserved’ characters, searching and replacing  29

Respect case/no wild  29

Respect case/with wild  29

restricting the range of pages of your text  22

Restyle option (Utilities menu)  14

Return key see Enter key

returning to last entry, when using macros  16

reversing restyling  14

right-arrow, to move cursor one character to the right  2

.RTF files see Microsoft Word, .RTF files


‘rubbish’ text in RTF files  39


save to disk, shortcut key  32

saving current layout to use for F from Main Menu  18

saving your index  6, 32

see also backing up

Scroll Lock key, alternatives in v8 of MACREX  23

searching, numbers in entries  5, 35

searching methods  29

searching for numbets  35

searching for ‘reserved’ characters  29

‘see’ references

added comma  8

checking for consistency  8


shortcut to save to disk  32

single digit locators, using Boolean grouping to group  5

small caps  1, 11

‘soft’ commas

in names etc.  1

use in search string  38

use in ‘see’ references  8

spaces, automatically added before repeated locators  4

spreadsheets, importing and exporting  25

square brackets, as wildcards, searching and replacing  29

‘squashing’ page ranges  10

stand-alone utility programs  36

STANDARD*.LAY files in v8 of MACREX  17

starting a new index using backup file  15


stripping of all locators, file created using HEADINGSNT.EXE  36


page range ‘squashing’ (eliding)  10

using your own ‘squashing’ style  10

subjects, locating in index  38


code  1

macro to produce  14


code  1

macro to produce  14

symbols see asterisk; backslash; caret; dollar sign; hyphens; square brackets


text files

comma-delimited, importing into MACREX  25

created from Main Menu in v8 of MACREX  17

three-digit numbers, use with ‘Number’ option  5

tildes, for text sorted not printed  1

titles, identifying in index  38

toggling when using ‘yank’ (F5)  21


underlining headings  14

‘unsquash’ option  10

up-arrow, to go to beginning of entry  2

upgrading from v7 to v8 of MACREX  17

upper-case letters see case of letters

utilities, in V8 of MACREX  24


version 6, loading settings into v8  17

version 7, loading settings into v8  17

version 8, features  17


volume numbers

restyling  14

see also locators



definition of ‘wild’  29

alphabetical characters preceded by colon  30

caret and dollar sign  30

‘hard’ coding, use in macros  16

symbols see asterisk; backslash; caret; curly brackets; dollar sign; hyphens; square brackets

using to locate particular indexes in a folder  7

Windows 7 and MACREX stand-alone utility programs  24, 36

Word see Microsoft Word

word left, cursor to move  2

word right, cursor to move  2

words, hyphenated  29


yank (F5) toggle (F2)  21