How To Create a Table of Contents in Word

Dear Computer Lady,

I am one of your followers that reads all your letters throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your expertise with computers.

I’m working on a document which requires a “Table of Contents” and I have no idea on how to do this. I have Microsoft 2007 at work, and I’m familiar with the “Ribbon” but I never created such a page. Could you help me please?

Many thanks… Martha

Dear Martha,

Creating a table of contents in Word is actually quite easy, all you have to do is a little bit of preparation, and it will almost create the TOC for you.

To start with, go through your document and find each chapter heading and any sub-headings that you want to be included in your table of contents.

Highlight each heading, and click on the “Heading 1” style in the ribbon. If you are going to have sub-headings in each chapter, use “Heading 2” for those sections.

If you don’t like the default settings for Heading 1 and Heading 2, just right click on the icon for each heading, and click “Modify…” to change the style.

Once you have applied that formatting to each heading, click in the front of your document where you want the Table of Contents to be located, click on the “References” tab in the ribbon, then click on the “Table of Contents” icon in the ribbon.

Select the style of TOC that you want, and click on it. Word will automatically build your Table of Contents.

As you continue to work on your document, you can update the TOC by simply clicking on the “Update Table” icon.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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