A table of contents enhances a number of different types of Word documents. For example, it’s great for books (fiction and non-fiction), workbooks, manuals, and handbooks. If you have a sizeable document with multiple sections, a table of contents is a must-have.

Make Your Documents Stand Out

Enhancing your personal, professional, and academic documents is easy with MS Word. You’re able to customize text size, style, and color. You’re able to add headers and footers, titles and subtitles, and even quotes to your documents.

You can add page numbers to your documents, too. This helps organize the flow of the information that you’re presenting. Details like this are easy to add to Word documents thanks to the wide range of tools that come with the popular word processing program.

Help Readers Find Specific Information

A table of contents lets your readers know where to find specific information. If they choose to skip ahead to a specific section of the book or manual, they’re able to with ease. It’s a way to add clarity to a document consisting of several different pages of information.

Setting up a table of contents takes little time and enhances the documents you produce. It’s a great way to organize things by giving it structure. If you haven’t had a chance to use a table of contents in your work, now is the time to do so.

Here’s What You Need to Do Step-by-Step

Here’s how to add a table of contents to a Word document:

  • Think about how you want to apply styles to your headings.

    Add organization and structure to your document by applying a heading style in Word. To do so, you’ll want to select text, click on ‘Styles”. You’ll find it on the ‘Home’ tab. Headings make it easier to identify sections of text.
  • Insert the table of contents that best fits your needs.

    With Microsoft Office, you’re given a number of different choices. Among them is the different table of contents styles that you can add to your book, workbook, manual or handbook. To include one in your document, go to ‘References’ on the ribbon and click on ‘Table of Contents’. You’ll then see the choices that are available for you to select. By holding the Ctrl key on your computer’s keyboard, you’re able to go to any section in the table of contents. There are also links that you can click on to navigate the document.
  • Update the table of contents whenever new content is added.

    Whenever the document is updated, make sure to save it. This allows you to ‘Update Table’ or ‘Update Entire Table’. You’ll see the changes reflected in the table of contents.

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