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I'm planning to create an index automatically and then fine tune the entries manually. I remember having done it in the past but now I cannot figure out how.

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Adobe's instructions can be found here: help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/… –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 22 '12 at 12:17

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The way to somewhat automate index creation is with a script. Marc Autret seems to have recently updated his IndexMatic script. It's a free download from his website (which is in French, but the page I've linked has English instructions). IndexMatic allows you to create a starting index from a list of words, pretty much by brute force (the original script wasn't called "Index Brutal" for nothing!).

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