Microsoft Word online training course

Word lesson 24, Table of contents

Making a table of contents

Word makes it really easy for us to make a table of contents for our document.
The only thing we need is "Headings" in our document.

By clicking on the arrow next to the "Style" button in the "Formatting" toolbar a dropdown menu will open.
In this list we can see different styles for "Headings" and default text.
So like i mentioned before, to make a table of contents we need "Headings" from this list.

choosing styles
For this we go through our entire document and select the different titles and subtitles and give these a style "Heading 1", "Heading 2" or "Heading 3".
These are the ones which will appear in the table of contents.

header 1, 2 and 3
Once we have placed the "Headers" in our document, its alot easier to make a table of contents from them.

Its probably best to make a pagenation first, otherwise the table of contents won't really have a function.
To do this click on "Insert", "Page numbers" in the menubar.

Then we place the cursor on a place inside our document where we would like to have our table of contents.
Then for Word 2003 and XP you click on "Insert", "Reference", "Index and tables" from the menubar.
Or if you are using either 97 or 2000 you click on "Insert", "Index and tables" in the menubar.
The "Index and tables" window will now open.
Choose the "Table of contents" tab.

index and table options
In the top part of the window we can see two "Preview" windows.
The left one is the "Print preview" window and the right one is the "Web preview" window.
Since we aren't making a document with links to the web we shouldn't have any links in the table of contents.
So we uncheck the box next to "Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers".

We check the box for "Show page numbers" otherwise the pagenation we did before is useless.
We also check the box for "Right align numbers".
This will give a more professional look.
We have numerous options as "Tab leader" from the dropdown menu.

In the "General" section we also have different options for "Formatting" our table of contents and we can select the amount of "Levels" that we want.
Click on "Ok" when you are done changing the settings to your needs.

table of contents

Formatting table of contents

We can also format this table of contents.
Once again we click on "Insert", "Reference", "Index and Tables" in the menubar.
In the "General" section we choose for "Formats" and then "From template".
Next click on the "Modify" button.

format table from template
The "Style" window will now open.

style window
Each level in our document appears here in a list: TOC1, TOC2, etc..
Select the level and click on the "Modify" button.
In the "Modify style" window we change the settings for that level.
Fonttype, fontsize, bold, italic, etc..

modify style window
Click on "Ok" when you are done.
Repeat this for every level of your table of contents.
Click on "Ok" and "Ok" again till all windows are closed.
The result can look like this:

table of contents example

Update table of contents

Lets say our table of contents have been made but afterwards the content in our document has been changed.
Its possible that an entire chapter has been removed or one has been added.
Does this mean we have to start all over again ?
The answer is No.

As an example i will remove an entire paragraph in lesson 1.
To update the table of contents i place the cursor anywhere in the table of contents and i click on the "Right" mousebutton.
In the popup window i will choose to "Update field".
And see, the table of contents has been updated.

updated table of content