February 8

How to Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word


Objective: to create a clickable table of contents (TOC) using Microsoft Word.

  • STEP 1: Open the Word document that you previously created

  • STEP 2: Adjust Content Location

    • Using your cursor and hitting the enter key repeatedly, push your content to begin on the second page. This will create a blank page for the Table of Contents.

      • If you will be adding an ebook cover, cover page or any other pages before the TOC, be sure to push the content down far enough to leave blank pages for these items.

  • STEP 3: Format Headings

    • Decide which headings you want entered into the TOC.

    • Decide if you want subheadings to show & if so, which ones.

    • Scroll through your document changing any headings you want to show to Heading 1 and any subheadings as Heading 2 (you can even do subheadings of subheadings using Heading 3) as shown below.

      • You may change adjust the size and font as you normally would in Word.


  • STEP 3: Create the Table of Contents Page

Once you have all your headings and subheadings finished.

    • Scroll to the page where you want your TOC to be.

    • Type in Table of Content and format it as you wish.

      • DO NOT make it Header 1, 2 or 3 unless you want it to show in your TOC.


    • Using your enter key, push your cursor down 3-5 lines below your TOC heading… where you want your TOC to begin

  • STEP 4: Choose Table of Contents Options

    • Click Insert –> Reference -> Index and Tables from the toolbar.


    • Click the Table of Contents tab to choose the options you would like for your TOC.

      • Show Levels – lets you decide how many heading levels (1, 2, 3 or possibly all) to show on the TOC.

      • Page Numbers – Checking this will show the page number where that heading begins.

      • Right Align – Aligns the TOC to the right-hand side of the page.

      • Tab Leader – lets you choose which type, if any leaders you want to show between the Heading Text and the page numbers.

      • Use Hyperlinks – Check this if you want to be able to click on the TOC items and jump to that particular section.

    • Other options are available by clicking the “options” button.


    • Once you’ve made your selections. Click Ok

Your newly created table of contents should now be inserted where your cursor is on the blank page. Just save your document and you’re done!


  • STEP 5: Editing Your Table of Contents

If you make changes to your document and pages get shifted around. It is a good idea update the TOC to ensure everything is accurate. To do this, simply:

    • Right-click the TOC

    • Choose Update Field

    • Select Update Page Numbers or Entire Table (if you’ve changed some of the text)

    • Click Ok and save your document again.




documents, tableofcontents, Word, wordprocessor

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