When you do this, a pane will appear on the left hand side of the document and you’ll be able to see the various headings, sub-headings, etc.
Clicking on any of the items in the list will take you to that heading in the Word document. This is a great way to quickly see your heading structure before creating your final TOC.
Adding a Table of Contents in Word
Now that we have all of your headers setup properly, let’s go ahead and insert a table of contents. First, we’ll start off with the default TOC setup in Word. Before starting, it might be a good idea to add a blank page at the beginning of your document.
To do that, go the top of your current first page and then click on Insert and Blank Page. Now click on References, Table of Contents and pick from one of the Automatic choices at the top.
A manual table will be just filler text in the format of a table of contents,so you will need to manually make all the changes. When you insert the automatic TOC, you should see something like this:
Now you have a nicely formatted TOC in your Word document! Once you have inserted the TOC, you can still make changes to the headings in your document, but the changes won’t be automatically reflected in the TOC.
In order to update the TOC, just click inside of it and then click on Update Table at the top.
It will ask you if you want to update just the page numbers or the entire table. If you have modified, inserted or deleted headings, you should choose entire table. If you just added more content to your document, but haven’t added or removed any headings, you can choose page numbers only.
Customize Table of Contents
If you used headings other than H1, H2, and H3, you’ll notice they won’t appear in the TOC. In order to use these extra headings, you have to choose Custom Table of Contents when inserting the TOC.
This will bring up the options dialog for the TOC. You can change some basic settings like whether to show the page numbers and whether to right-align the numbers or not. Under General, you can choose from multiple styles and you can also choose to show more levels beyond three, which is the H3 heading.
If you click on Options, you can choose extra items to build the TOC with. If you scroll down, you’ll be able to select Subtitle and TOC heading.
In order to customize the look and feel of the table of contents, you have to click on the Modify button. If you simply right-click on the TOC and chose Font or Paragraph, it won’t format the TOC. When you click on Modify, you’ll get another dialog where you can edit each TOC level. TOC 1 is H1, TOC 2 is H2, etc.
Click on the second Modify button and you’ll be able to change the formatting for that particular heading. So if you want, you could make all H1 headings bold and a different font size.
Finally, if you press the CTRL key and then click on anything in the TOC, you’ll be brought to that page. If you find it annoying to have to press the CTRL key, you can change this by going to File – Options and then clicking on Advanced. (I recommend taking the time to do this.)
Go ahead and uncheck the Use CTRL + Click to follow hyperlink box. Now you can just click on the items in the TOC as links without holding down the CTRL key. Unfortunately, this only works on your local copy of Word. When you email it to someone and if they don’t have that setting changed, they will have to CTRL + click.
There you go! Readers of your document will have a professional looking and functional Table of Contents!