Creating a Table of Contents

Word’s Table of Contents (TOC) feature saves you time and helps organize your document. Once you’ve built a table of contents in Word, you can use it to navigate your document (just as you might with the Navigation Pane); you can custom format it to get just the look you want; you can save yourself the task of updating page numbers if you add or delete text from your document (which can be a major pain); and you can use it as a Web site map, because in Online and Print Layout views, a Word Table of Contents is automatically hyperlinked.

TOC the Easiest Way: Using Built-in Headings

If you have a well-organized document, and you’ve used Word’s outliner or one of its built-in heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on) to introduce each new topic, Word’s TOC feature was made for you. Go directly to step 1 below.

If you wrote your document without headings, on the other hand, insert them before creating the table. (Use Word’s built-in heading styles, as shown on Applying Styles.) Be descriptive when you design the headings; instead of just "Chapter 10" or “Advanced Techniques,” use "Chapter 10: Underwater Architecture” or “Advanced Card-Counting.”

When you’re ready to deliver a TOC to the first page of your masterwork, proceed as follows:

  1. Click where you want the TOC to begin.

    To put the TOC on the first page, click at the very beginning of the document. (You can also insert it after a title page or introduction.)

  2. Switch to Print Layout view and click Document ...

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