How to Insert a Table Of Contents in a Word Document

In Microsoft Office Word we have the option to create a Table of Contents easily and quickly in our document. Feature, that is very useful, especially for documents that are consisting from several pages.

Further down I am going to describe the steps that are necessary to create a Table of Contents.

Step 1:

We prepare or open the document that we want to create the Table of Contents. For my example I have a word document that consists of 153 pages, which I have split into eight different chapters, as you can see from the following image.

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Step 2:

Afterwards I am going to apply a Heading Style for the titles of the eight chapters. In my example, seeing that I have eight chapters I will have to follow the same procedure eight times, or to apply a Heading Style at the title of the first chapter and then when the Format Painter to copy the format from the title of the first chapter to the rest of the other titles.

I then select the text of Chapter 1 and then from the Home Tab, at the Styles area pane I select the arrow that is at the right of the area, so the drop down menu will appear with all the available Headings.

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From the drop down menu I select the Heading 1 style, as you can see at the image below.

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We follow the same steps as described above for the titles of the other chapters.

Step 2Α:

If we want in the Table of Contents the different headings of sections in the chapters to be included, we will have to choose the corresponding heading of the section and then apply a different Heading Style. For my example I have chosen Heading Style 2.

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We follow the same steps for the other sections of the chapters, which we want to be included in the Table of Contents.

  • Heading 1 is applied is applied for the titles of the chapters.
  • Heading 2 is applied to the titles of each section in the chapter, and so far on.

At the image below I have an example of the different kind of headings that we can apply in a document. We can also see that there are different sorts of headings. To preview the task pane in our document, we just have to select the arrow that is in the down right corner of the Style area of the Ribbon on the Home Tab.

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Step 3:

Now that we applied different heading styles to our document, it is time to create the Table of Contents. We go to the bottom of our document (preferably in a blank page) and then we select the References Tab. At the left side of the ribbon is the area Table of Contents, where we select the command Table of Contents and from the drop down menu we can select one of the available styles of Table of Contents as we can see at the image below.

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If we are not satisfied with the available styles that are shown in the drop down menu, at the bottom of the menu we can select the command Insert Table of Contents. Then a new window will open named Table of Contents, were we can edit one of the available Table of Contents or to choose another format for the Table of Content.

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Step 4.

After we have decided which Table of Contents we want for I document, we can do a right click on the desired Table of Contents and we will see a shortcut menu appear. From this shortcut menu we have the possibility to choose in which position the table will be imported, just in case we don’t recall where our cursor is.

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After a bit and depending on the size of our document, the Table of Contents has been imported to our document, as we can see below.

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If we have numbered our pages in the document, the page numbers will appear in the Table of Contents. All the headings in our Table of Contents contain hyperlinks that lead us to the specified point (ctrl + click).

Updating The Table of Contents

If we have done any changes in our document considering the titles of the headings or the sections (for example if I  we have renamed the title of one chapter or I have changed the structure of the chapters), I will have to update the Table of Contents. To do this, we have to follow the next procedure:

We put our insertion point anywhere in the Table of Contents and at the top of the building block will appear the command Update Table.

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Selecting the command, a new window will appear where we have the following two options.

  • Update Page Numbers Only
  • Update Entire Table

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Depending on what we want to do, we check the corresponding command and then press the OK button.

Another way to update the Table of Contents is to choose the References Tab and at the area Table of Contents of the Ribbon we select the command Update Table, where the same windows as above will appear with the same options.

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Deleting a Table of Contents

To delete a Table of Contents, we just put our insertion point anywhere inside the Table of Contents and at the top of the building block will appear the command Update Table. We just press the arrow right at the left from that command and from the drop down menu that appears we select the command Remove Table of Contents.

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Another way of removing a table of contents is from the References Tab and at the area or the ribbon which is named Table of Contents we select the command Table of Contents and from the drop down menu we select the command Remove Table of Contents.

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About officesmart

MVP: Honored with the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for OFFICE SYSTEM title for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Microsoft, for my contribution and commitment to the technical communities worldwide. Microsoft Master Specialist: This certification provides skill-verification tools that not only help assess a person's skills in using Microsoft Office programs but also the ability to quickly complete on-the-job tasks across multiple programs in the Microsoft Office system

Posted on May 3, 2011, in Microsoft Office 2010 English, Word 2010 English and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi,
    Pretty clean, straight and to the point. Very useful. i could make it from scratch with the help of this.
    tks..