Word 2013 tip: organize documents with a table of contents

How to lớn create a table of contents in Word

Imagine you're working with a really long document in Microsoft Word, lượt thích an academic paper or a big report. Depending on the project, it might be dozens or even hundreds of pages long! When a document is this large, it can be difficult khổng lồ remember which page has what information. Fortunately, Word allows you khổng lồ insert a table of contents, making it easy lớn organize và navigate your document.

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A table of contents is just like the menu of chapters at the beginning of a book. It lists each section in the document & the page number where that section begins. A really basic table of contents might look like this:


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You could create a table of contents manually—typing the section names và page numbers—but it would take a lot of work. Và if you ever decide to lớn rearrange your sections or add more information, you'll have to lớn update everything all over again. However, with the right formatting, Word can create & update a table of contents automatically.

Step 1: Apply heading styles

If you've already read our Applying & Modifying Styles lesson, you know they're an easy way to showroom professional text formatting khổng lồ different parts of your document. Styles also serve another important purpose: adding a hidden layer of organization & structure to your document.

If you apply a heading style, you're telling Word that you've started a new part of your document. When you insert the table of contents, it will create a section for each heading. In the table of contents above, each chapter uses a heading style, so there are four sections.

To apply a heading style, select the text you want to format, then choose the desired heading in the Styles group on the Home tab.

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Step 2: Insert the table of contents

Now for the easy part! Once you've applied heading styles, you can insert your table of contents in just a few clicks. Navigate lớn the References tab on the Ribbon, then click the Table of Contents command. Select a built-in table from the menu that appears, & the table of contents will appear in your document.


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As you can see in the image below, the table of contents uses the heading styles in your document to determine where each section begins. Sections that begin with a Heading 2 or Heading 3 style will be nested within a Heading 1 style, much lượt thích a multilevel list.


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A table of contents also creates links for each section, allowing you lớn navigate to lớn different parts of your document. Just hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click lớn go to any section.


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Step 3: Update as needed

If you edit or add to your document, it's easy khổng lồ update the table of contents. Just select the table of contents, click Update Table, & choose Update Entire Table in the dialog box that appears. The table of contents will then update lớn reflect any changes.


No matter how large your document may be, you can see there's nothing complicated about creating a table of contents. If you want even more control over how your table of contents appears, kiểm tra out this tutorial from Microsoft on Taking a Table of Contents khổng lồ the Next Level.