How to Create A Table of Contents in Word


When we write a long article in Microsoft Word, we will add a table of contents to the first page. The table of contents can guide us to the page number of each part. Through the table of contents, we can quickly and effectively determine what we want to find. At the same time, with the entire catalog, we can also understand the content of the entire article.

The easiest way to create a table of contents in Word is to use the built-in style. It can create a table of contents by using headings within a document or from an outline. You can also use custom styles to make a table of content, but this method takes more time. This post introduces some methods for making catalogs, including creating catalogs by built-in style, custom catalog, and so on. After reading this post, you will be able to make a table of contents more easily.

Section 1 - How to Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

When we are writing some books or papers, we often need to use the table of contents. When making the table of contents, we usually generate them automatically based on the content. However, depending on your needs, many people want to be able to make the table of contents manually, rather than automatically. Next, we will introduce you two ways to create a table of contents in Microsoft Word.

In this article, I'll show you how to create a table of contents in Word 2010, but you'll use the same process to create one in Word 2010, Word 2007, and Word 2011.

1. Using the Built-in Style

The use of built-in styles allows us to quickly make a table of contents with just a few clicks. Next, we will introduce them step by step.

Step 1. Open your document in Microsoft Word 2010 and click on the "Home" tab.

Microsoft Word Home

Step 2. Highlight the first heading and select Heading 1, as shown in the screenshot below.

Microsoft Word Home Heading

Step 3. Follow Step 2 to set all of the remaining headings.


"Microsoft Word bases the table of contents on the formatted text in the heading style of the document. As long as you use heading 1 as the main heading, heading 2 as the subheading, heading 3 for lower-level headings, and so on, then the table of contents will start."

Step 4. After you set all the titles, click the "Reference" > "Table of Contents" button at the top of the screen. Then select "Automatic Table 1".

Microsoft Word Reference Table of Contents

Step 5. Then you can see a table of contents that has been inserted in your document.

Microsoft Word Contents


"If you want the table of contents to be displayed on a separate page, please place the cursor before the first heading, and then click "Page Break" in the "Insert" tab."

Microsoft Word Insert Page Break

Step 6. Update the table of contents. Click the "Update Table" tab that appears at the top of the table to update it.

Microsoft Word Update Table

2. Customize Your Own Styles

When we make a table of contents in Word, most of the people will use the built-in style. But according to different needs, there are many people who want to be able to customize their own style. Next, you can follow the steps below to create your own content.

Step 1. Click the "References" > "Custom Table of Contents…"

Microsoft Word References Custom Table of Contents

Step 2. Then it will show up a pop-up window. In the menu, you will find a list of styles for each heading level that can be selected and modified. This will allow you to customize the title type, font size, font type, and position in the document.

Microsoft Word Table of Contents Setting

Step 3. When you finished, click the "OK" button to save your changes and return to the document. Then you will see the contents.

Section 2 - How to Make a Table of Contents in Google Docs

In addition to editing the table of contents with Microsoft Word, you can also use Google docs. With Google Docs, you can write, edit, and collaborate for free wherever you are. There are two approaches you can take to make your table of contents.

1. Insert Table of Contents with Page Number

Insert table of contents with page number will display the page number of each title and subtitle in the table of contents. If your document needs to be printed, you should choose this style.

Step 1. Open your document in Google Docs.

Step 2. Highlight the first heading and select the "Normal text" drop-down list to select the heading style. Use this method to mark other titles.

Google Docs Heading Setting

Step 3. Next, select "Insert" from the menu, and select "Table of contents". Choose the "With page numbers".

Google Docs Table of Contents With page numbers

Step 4. If you need to update the table of contents, you can click a button that looks like a "refresh".

 Google Docs Update The Table of Contents

2. Insert Table of Contents with Blue Links

Using a blue link as a table of contents will display each table of contents as a link. Clicking on the link will navigate to the part of the document where the title is located. If you need to send electronic documents, using the blue link as the directory is a good choice.

After setting your title according to the above method, click the "Insert" > "Table of contents" > "With blue links".

Google Docs Table of Contents With blue links


Where can I download the table of contents templates?

You can download some table of contents templates from 20 Table of Contents Templates and Examples which can ease your work. Meanwhile, they are very convenient for those who are pressed for time.


If you frequently write academic papers or similar documents and use a table of contents, Microsoft Word is a good choice for you. If you are a Mac user and do not have Microsoft Word software, you can use Google Docs to create a table of contents directly online.

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