I indexed my book Real Lives Revealed, which is being published at the end of this month, myself. I first created the indexes in Microsoft Excel XP. Then I converted them to text in Microsoft Word XP, which turned out not to be as intuitive as it should have been. For anyone faced with the same task, here is what I did.
Step for Moving Index from Microsoft Excel XP to Microsoft Word XP
A. What to do in Excel
1. Open Excel.
2. Make sure that your index content has been sorted into the order that you want it to be in the final form. If there are a few lines that do not sort properly because of Excel character sorting rules, do not worry. You can move them into the proper spot later in Word.
3. Click "Select All." This will highlight everything, even hundreds of pages.
4. Copy all the Excel content.
B. What to do in Word
5. Open Word.
6. Paste content from Excel into Word. You will notice that it is in a table. You will want to get it out of the table.
7. Click "Select All." (This is a step that I missed repeatedly when I could not get the process to work.)
8. Click "Table."
9. Point to "Convert."
Here is where it can get weird.
10. If "Table to Text" is in black, click it and skip to step #14. If "Table to Text" is gray, click a blank spot on the page outside the table.
11. Click Table again.
12. Point to "Convert" again. This time "Table to Text" will be black. Click "Table to Text."
14. In the pop up box, under "Separate text with" choose "Paragraph marks." Click "OK."
15. Your index should now be in Word without table outlines. You can now move lines of text that did not sort properly.
Perhaps there is a better way, but that is the way that worked for me.
If you do write a book, indexing it yourself can give you satisfaction that the job is done correctly. I also found numerous typos in the text in the process, some of which looked right to other proofreaders. I urge you also to consider indexing for quality control that only you may be able recognize.