How to Create a Table of Contents in Word

A table of contents is an excellent addition to a lengthy document, particularly academic work. It makes sure your work is well-presented and easy to navigate. This guide shows you how to create and customize your table of contents to look as professional as possible.

Set your headings

Before creating a table of contents, the first thing to do is ensure that your content is ready with the relevant headings you want to be included. The headings in your document will make up the headings displayed in the table of contents.

To set your headings,

  1. Open your Word Document.
  2. Navigate to the Home Menu. In the “Styles” section, choose Heading 1 for the main headings of your document.
  3. Choose Heading 2, Heading 3, etc., for the other subheadings that apply to your document.how-to-create-table-of-content-in-Word

Create headings in your document to get the document ready for the table of contents.When you’re done setting your headings as they should be,

  1. Scroll to the page and click where you want to place the table of content to be inserted.
  2. Click on the References menu on the menu bar.
  3.  Then, select Insert Table of Contents. Word will automatically create the table of contents for you based on the headers you’ve specified in the document.
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    Open the References menu. Click and insert the table of contents into your document.

    Word will automatically create the table of contents for you based on the headers you’ve specified in the document.

    Note: If you use Word 2016 or 2013, you will have two “automatic” and one “manual” insert table of content options.

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    On older Word versions, you’ll find different table of content formats to choose from.
  4. To update the contents in the table of contents, select Update Table of Contents in the top toolbar.
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    You can update the table by clicking the Update button on the table of contents box.

    After selecting Update can change certain items. For example, selecting “Update page numbers only” will allow you to change the page numbers, and “Update entire table” allows you to update the entire table, including the text.

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    Click on Update page numbers only to update the page numbers. Click on Update entire table to update the entire table.

    The table of content becomes editable when you choose any of the options above. You can also go back and edit the headings in your document.

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    Your Table of Contents becomes editable.

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