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Creating a table of contents

A table of contents is a list of the headings in a document. You can use a table of contents to get an overview of the topics discussed in a document. If you are creating a document for the Web, you can put the table of contents in a Web frame so that you can easily navigate through the document.

You can create a table of contents using the built-in heading styles and outline-level formats in Microsoft Word.

After you've specified the headings to include, you can choose a design and build the finished table of contents. When you build a table of contents, Word searches for the specified headings, sorts them by heading level, and displays the table of contents in the document.

Create a table of contents

The easiest way to create a table of contents is to use the built-in outline-level formats or heading styles. (See "Formatting Text using Styles") If you are already using outline-level formats or built-in heading styles, follow these steps:

Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

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

Click the Table of Contents tab.

table of contents image

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

Select any other table of contents options you want.

Create a table of contents from custom styles

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.

Click where you want to insert the table of contents.

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

Click the Table of Contents tab.

Click Options.

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

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.

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

Click OK.

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

Select any other table of contents options you want.

To update the Table of Contents

Highlight the Table of Contents and hit the F9 key. Choose whether to update the entire table or only page numbers.