Creating and Updating a TOC (Table of Contents) in Word

 

Creating a Table of Contents for your documents has never been very difficult - but keeping it updated has always been a bear.  Most people create a TOC when they are finished - or at leastm they think they are finished.  But then they realize there are more edits needed, and then new sections are added, pages are removed, paragraphs moved, etc.   This wreaks havoc with the TOC, so they must continually correct it.  What a hassle !!!  

 

Fortunately, the last few years, Microsoft added an excellent automated TOC update function to Word - which is executed by hitting the F9 key.

 

There are 4 Methods.  The most common, and easiest way to create a TOC is the Heading Styles.  You simply type the document, select the headings and assign styles to them, and then instantly create the TOC !!

 

NOTE:  you can also create an Index and Table of Figures with similar methods.

 

Heading Styles TOC (the best way)

 

Step 1)  Optional - edit the Default Word Heading Styles

 

Most people use Heading1 for TOC's.  But you may not like that particular font and size for your Headings.  Here is how you can change that:

 

  1. Select a Heading

  2. Click the "Style" drop-down arrow and select the style you want - for example, "Heading 1"

  3. Format/Styles and Formatting - this will bring up the styles and formatting box at the right

  4. click the drop-down arrow next to "Heading 1" and select "Modify"

  5. edit the font properties, and check the "Add to Template" box if you wish to make the change permanent (this will make this change to the "Normal.dot" default Word template).

 

Step 2) Create the Word Document with Headings (to be used later for your TOC)

 

As you type, for each heading - Drag the Mouse to select the text, and change it to "Heading 1" using the CTRL-Alt-X shortcut (where X = Heading style, typically you only need Heading1 since most TOC's only list the major sections).

 

You can also create two types of sub-headings, which will be included in the TOC and will be indented.  Heading 2 will be indented one tab over and Heading 3 will be indented two tabs over.  As you type, select each sub-heading and assign the styles "Heading 2" and "Heading 3" to them.

 

Step 3)  Create the TOC

  1. Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

  2. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and click Index and Tables.

  3. Click the Table of Contents tab.

  4. To use one of the available designs, click a design in the Formats box.  “Formal” and “Simple” are good, basic TOC’s

Step 4)  update the TOC periodically as you work (use the F9 key)

 

  1. click anywhere in the main body of the TOC to select it (the entire TOC will turn gray)

  2. hit the F9 key - and any new pages, sections, page changes (repagination of the TOC) will occur and the TOC will be updated

NOTE:  make sure you update the TOC one last time when you are finished with the document !!

 

Outline Levels TOC

  1. On the View menu, point to Toolbars, and click Outlining.

  2. Select the first heading that you want to appear in the table of contents.

  3. On the Outlining toolbar, select the outline level that you want to associate with the selected paragraph.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each heading that you want to include in the table of contents.

  5. Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

  6. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and click Index and Tables.

  7. Click the Table of Contents tab.

  8. To use one of the available designs, click a design in the Formats box.

  9. Select any other table of contents options you want.

 

Custom Styles TOC

If you've already applied custom styles to your headings, you can tell Microsoft Word which styles to use when it's building the table of contents.

  1. Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

  2. On the Insert menu, point to References, and click Index and Tables.

  3. Click the Table of Contents tab.

  4. Click Options.

  5. Under Available styles, find a style you've applied to headings in your document.

  6. Under TOC level, to the right of the style name, enter a number from 1 to 9 to indicate the level you want that heading style to represent.

Note  If you want to use only custom styles, remove the TOC level numbers for the built-in styles, such as Heading 1.

  1. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each heading style you want to include in the table of contents.

  2. Click OK.

  3. To use one of the available designs, click a design in the Formats box.

  4. Select any other table of contents options you want.

 

 

Marked Entries TOC

 

  1. Select the text that you want to include in your table of contents.

  2. Press ALT+SHIFT+O. to bring up the “Mark TOC Entry” box

  3. select the level of indent (1 for no indent, 2 for one tab indent, etc) and click Mark
    NOTE:
    leave the box open until done - just move it aside for now

  4. continue until done, and close the box.

  5. Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

  6. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and click Index and Tables.

  7. Click the Table of Contents tab.

  8. IMPORTANT STEP - click the Options button, clear the Styles and Outline levels check boxes and check the Table entry fields box.



  9. Click OK, OK  -  Done !!!

 

 

Notes