How to Get Started with Indexing Online

May 30, 2017  - by 

If you’ve been thinking about beginning indexing—or starting again if you haven’t indexed in a while—this is a great time to start! FamilySearch recently released web indexing, so now you can index right in your browser. There’s nothing to download or install, and it’s easy to learn. 

Five Simple Tips for Getting Started 

1. Take the guided tour.

If you’ve never indexed before (or even if you have), taking the guided tour is the perfect way to become familiar with the way web indexing works. The tour is the first batch under My Batches on your web indexing page

This guided tour can help you get started with indexing.2. Start with a beginning batch.

After taking the tour, click Find Batches to see a list of projects available to index. Search for a batch with a beginning difficulty level, and click Start. Starting with a beginning batch will help you learn without feeling overwhelmed. Indexing may be simpler than you think.

3. Read the project instructions.

Learn how to start indexing today!When you open the batch, you’ll see a box on the right with instructions specifically for that project. These easy-to-read instructions provide guidance and answers to common questions to help you get started. 

4. Know where to get help.

You can find information and advice in a variety of ways:

  • Read the Field Help as you complete each field. (Field Help appears directly above the data entry form.)
  • Contact your local family history consultant
  • Read articles on web indexing in the FamilySearch Help Center. Go to the Help Resources page.
    • In the search box at the top, type “Web Indexing.” Include additional keywords if desired. 
    • Click the magnifying glass icon or click Search. You’ll see a list of Help Center articles on web indexing. 

5. Remember, this is a spiritual work.

Keep in mind the people whose names you are indexing and the people who you are helping to find their ancestors. Fostering a connection with the names you come across can add meaning to the work you’re doing.

We’ll be making ongoing improvements, and we welcome your input. Click Feedback at the bottom of any web indexing page to share your suggestions and ideas. 

We hope you enjoy web indexing!


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  1. Very good. I want to use this as a handout for my beginners. Could you add the 1st steps of going to and logging in.

  2. Many indexing projects are still only available via the desktop program. Will those projects ever be transferred to the online program or will they remain desktop only/

    1. I asked this question for our Stake Training, and we were told that Web Indexing will have something called “Peer Review” instead of Arbitration. That way it becomes just a 2 step process, the project is indexed, then a person using Peer Review will check what the first person put in to see if they have anything that should be added or changed. It is a great way to learn from other, and to be eligible to do Peer Review all you have to do is index 1000 records. My Mother recently hit that mark, and she is really enjoying doing Peer Review.

  3. I took the guided tour and then wanted to start, but no where on the page did it say FIND BATCHES. I finally clicked on indexing and found the web indexing in the drop down box. You might include that on your first steps information.

  4. Usually in marriage records it will have the race recorded. So far there is no field for listing this information. I feel that this is a very important piece of information. This would be greatly needed and helpful.

  5. The image/s we index will each be availabled or shown when someone search for their ancestors? There is the possibility the indexer and the reviewer made a mistake of reading them due to hand writing style but possible that the relatives can identify the exact spelling the moment they is it. Also for record purposes, I myself want a copy of the original image. Another thing, so I can be a reviewer now since I already submitted over 2600 from the old app (the app you install on PC) and over 1200 on web indexing?
    I have another question if I may, the 2600+ I submitted from the app will be added/reflect to my web indexing or there’s no way yet at the moment?
    Please add more batches from Philippines (Caloocan City, Bulacan Province and Pampanga Province, Am willing to index the entire provinces and city if you guys add them) I’m stuck with my 6th generation and I can’t further my research.

    1. Nestor, FamilySearch is constantly looking for ways to add more records from all over the world. Images you index will be available when searching for ancestors.

      1. Alison, thanks for answering but can you please provide me with specific answer on my questions. For now just the 1st question. Scenario: supposed John Doe is my great grandfather and he has been indexed and when I search/type his name it will definitely appear, correct? and of course with several same name will be shown. Will the original image that the indexer had seen and indexed be attached to that name so I can somehow be able to download and have a copy of my own? Thank you in advanced.

        1. Nestor, we are currently updating our publication system and processes to accommodate our new web-based indexing platform. These changes have created a temporary backlog of projects that are pending publication. Once these changes are complete, records publication should be faster and more flexible than before, and projects that have been delayed will be published on as soon as possible. This means that not all indexed records will be available immediately, but they will all be searchable on FamilySearch in the future. One thing to keep in mind if you’re looking for specific ancestors is that there are often spelling alternatives for the same person. You can learn how to search for spelling alternatives here. Learn more about other tips to get the best results when you’re searching for names here.

          Whether or not the original image is available to view online depends on the agreement FamilySearch made with the original record owners. Some are only viewable in Family History Centers or other locations.

          1. Thank you for answering I appreciated it.
            Just letting you know the NEW ‘Show Me How’ tab is very helpful. It’s very timely and simple enough to follow through. I will be using it to teach our members here, just one slight problem I need to ask some one to translate it in Indonesian language so members here in Surabaya Indonesia will understand. I’m a Filipino but working here and attending in one of the 2 branches here. My Indonesian language is still fragile, I barely understand them but I want them to learn how to index as early as possible, hopefully some of them can participate in the upcoming worldwide event, so far in our branch I’m the only one that knows and does indexing. It’s a big responsibility but I can manage, I been indexing for nearly 2 years now, self taught. I wanted to share what I have learned though I’m not really called to do this yet I’m always asked by our couple missionaries to help them out. Please let your group know that I really appreciate the new tab ‘Show Me How’. Thanks again to all of you.

            1. Nestor, we appreciate all that you (and people like you) do! Please submit this feedback on the FamilySearch site so it can get to the right people. To do so, you can submit feedback here.

    1. David, the number of indexed and arbitrated names from the old system will be added to your count of indexed names in the new system at some point in the future. However, projects are available in only one system or the other, so if you’re currently working on any batches in the old system, they will not be available in web indexing. They will simply expire and return for others to index.

      Does this answer your question?

  6. Is it possible to still download the program and work from my PC? I really like the PC version and I find the web version to be far less intuitive. My husband tried the web version and he is totally frustrated with it.

  7. Could this article be included as a link in the notice I receive about new indexers in the stake? I would include it in the welcome email I send. Thanks.

  8. Would it be possible for a link to this article be given in the “new Indexer” notice I receive as the Stake Temple and Family History consultant? That way I could include it in my “welcome” email.

    1. According to Alison Ensign, the name above, the Web Indexing will work properly on Google Chrome and Firefox. I used to use Microsoft Edge because my laptop is fairly new with Windows 10, it works fine, the Edge to anything except the Web indexing, I have constantly getting errors so I went back to Google Chrome since then I have no problem.

    2. Internet Explorer is ancient and out-dated.. but then that is redundant. 😉 Internet Explorer cannot be used with FamilySearch. Edge does not work that well with FamilySearch, either.
      It is best to use, Opera, Chrome or Firefox with FamiliySearch and Web-Indexing..

  9. a lot of writing but where do i change over from my indexing page(of many years now) to this web page thing. i am a silver surfer and a moderate site activity!!!!!!!!
    i await your reply
    malcolm Webb

    1. Malcom, are you referring to carrying your numbers from the desktop program to the web program? FamilySearch has preserved those numbers and will add those numbers to your web indexing profile.