Create A Glossary In Word 2013

A plethora of tutorials to get you up to speed with Microsoft Word 2013

Creating A Glossary In Word 2013

There is no way to get Word 2013 to automatically add a glossary to your document. This means that the simplest way to add a glossary is to type it in manually at the end of your document. There is some confusion over how a glossary should look, so we have given an example glossary to give you some ideas.

Example Glossary

A Glossary is merely a list of terms used in a document, and their corresponding meanings. It is used to help the reader understand words and phrases they may not be familiar with, especially in the context of the document.

Case study The collection and presentation of detailed information about a particular participant or small group, often including the accounts of subjects themselves.
Causal Relationship The relationship established that shows that an independent variable, and nothing else, causes a change in a dependent variable. Establishes, also, how much of a change is shown in the dependent variable.
Confounding Variable An unforeseen, and unaccounted-for variable that jeopardizes reliability and validity of an experiment’s outcome.

Add A Glossary In Word

The hardest part of adding a glossary to your document is deciding on the way to lay it out. One of the easiest ways is to line up the terms and their definitions is to add a table. Many people prefer that the table be invisible so you might want to remove the table borders.


Go to the Insert tab and click on Tables. Hover over the square that represents two columns and one row, and click.

Two Columns One Row

This will insert a table with two columns and one row. One row probably won’t be enough for your glossary, but pressing the tab key whilst in the last cell will automatically create a new row in the table for you.

Now that you have a table, start typing the glossary terms in the left column and their corresponding definitions in the right column.

To remove the table borders, make sure the cursor is in a cell of the table and then on the Table Tools > Layout tab, click Select > Select Table. This selects the whole table. Then click Table Tools > Design > Borders > No Border.

No Border


Another way that you can line up your terms and definitions is to use tabs. Type your term and then press the tab key. Start typing your definition. If your definition spans more than one line, position the cursor at the start of the line that wrapped and press the tab key again to line up the whole definition.

As a styling consideration, you might like to highlight the terms (not the definitions) in some way to make them stand out. A simple bolding might suffice. Select he terms you want to bold and then press ctrl + b.