Creating a table of contents – the easy way

After finishing a long document, no-one wants to type a table of contents and get all the headings and page numbers right manually. Create a table of contents the easy way by applying styles to each heading in your Word document and auto-generating the table of contents. Follow these steps.

  • To apply styles to headings in your Word file, go to the Format menu, then Style. Apply heading 1 style to the chapter or section heading, heading 2 to the first subheading, then heading 3 to the next level of heading. You can modify the styles to change the look.
  • To generate your table of contents, go to the Insert menu, then Index and Tables, then Table of Contents.
  • To change the look of your table of contents, modify TOC1 style for heading 1 and TOC2 for heading 2. For instance, you could make the headings bold or adjust the spacing.

Check the table of contents to see if the headings are consistent and complete. If you change the headings in the document or make other changes, simply regenerate and replace the table of contents.

Use the same method to generate a list of tables and a list of figures by applying heading styles to table headings and figure headings.

Knowing how to auto-generate a table of contents makes working on long documents easier.

4 thoughts on “Creating a table of contents – the easy way

  1. Pingback: Use your table of contents to check consistency of headings | Right with Rhonda

  2. Pingback: High impact headings | Right with Rhonda

  3. Pingback: Wise up to Word features to make a writer’s life easier | Right with Rhonda

  4. Pingback: Structure tip: Move from the general to the specific | Right with Rhonda

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