How to create a table of contents in Word | Tutorial

How to create a table of contents in Word

How to create a table of contents in Word

Whether it is a simple text or a doctoral thesis – from a certain size it can make sense to create a table of contents in Word to give the reader the possibility to jump to specific passages. It is not particularly difficult to create a table of contents in Word, once you know how it works. And often you can do the necessary basics while formatting your own document correctly. We would like to show you what you have to pay attention to and how you can create the table of contents in a few seconds and also update it again if necessary.

Prepare table of contents in Word with appropriate headings:

The trick is that Microsoft Word creates a table of contents from formatted headings. Therefore, if you take the right steps right away, creating the table of contents will only take a few seconds. But what formatting must be applied? In the end, the use of the format for headings is sufficient. For subheadings, however, it should be noted that corresponding headings of lower rank are also used, so that the table of contents can recognize the structure.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • First divide your text and assign a heading for each section
  • In the “Home” tab, click on the small square with the arrow in the “Styles” group
  • Click on “Options”
  • In the “Select styles to show” section, change the setting from “Recommended” to “All styles”. Press OK
  • Now assign the format “Heading 1” to all headings
  • If it is a subheading, set the heading to “Heading 2” and so on
  • Go to the place where you want to insert the table of contents
  • Click on the tab “References” and table of contents. Choose a format
  • Done!

If something changes in your text, you can update your table of contents in Word:

  • Click on the table of contents and at the top on “Update table of contents”
  • Select whether only the page numbers should be updated or the entire directory

Correct formatting is almost always the be-all and end-all. If you follow these rules, using the table of contents is not a hassle. Only those who rarely work with texts of this size may first have to get used to clean formatting. Ultimately, however, even then it is only a matter of time before this function can be used safely in Microsoft Word.


Video tutorial:

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