How to Create and Manage a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

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Writing a novel, textbook or your final thesis and need a table of content? Regardless of the reasons mentioned, having a table of contents is always a good idea. They make it easy to navigate through a document. With Microsoft Word, you can easily generate a table of contents without any hassle. On this post, we would be discussing how to create and manage a table of contents in Microsoft Word

How to Create and Manage a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

How to Create and Manage a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word: Add a Table of Contents

So here’s how to add a table of contents to your document:

Please note that by default, Word generates a table of contents using the first three built-in heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3).  Here’s how to apply heading styles:

  1. Select a particular style from the “Home” tab. If you’re not happy with the types of heading styles available, you can simply change the default heading style.
  2. There are two different ways to do this. You can either apply the heading styles to each section after you’ve finished the document, or you can add them as you go. Once you have applied your heading styles, it’s time to insert your table of contents.
  3. To insert the table of contents, you need to put the cursor where you want the table of contents to appear. Then go to the “References” tab and select “Table of Contents.”
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. There are three different built-in tables, you can select the one you like best.
  5. The only difference between Automatic Table 1 and 2 is the title, which is “Contents” and “Table of Contents,” respectively. Selecting either Automatic Table 1 or 2 will create the table of contents using the names of the headings.
  6. If you select the “Manual Table” option from the “Table of Contents” drop-down menu, then it will insert a template for you that you can edit yourself.
  7. There are sub-levels in the table of contents, each level represents a heading style in your document. If you selected the automatic table and you want sub-levels in your table of contents. You need to use heading 1 for level 1, heading 2 for level 2, and heading 3 for level 3.
  8. If you want your table of contents to go deeper than the top three heading styles, you can do that, too. On the dropdown menu when you click the “Table of Contents” button, select the “Custom Table of Contents” option.
  9. Click the “Options” button.
  10. You will see some styles, next to each available style you want to use, type the table of contents level you wish to use. Click “OK” when you’re done.

How to Create and Manage a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word: Updating the Table of Contents

You can easily update the table of contents if you wish to add or remove some content. Here’s how to update it:

  1. Select it, click “Update Table” on the pop-up menu and choose whether you want to update only the page numbers or the entire table.
  2. Click “OK” to apply the changes. The table of contents will then be updated.

How to Create and Manage a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word: Removing the Table of Contents

Here‘s how to remove the table of contents.

  1. Select the table of contents then click the arrow on the menu that appears.
  2. At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select “Remove Table of Contents.”

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