How to Add a Table of Contents to Microsoft Word

Using a table of contents (TOC) can make some documents look more professional. It also makes it easier to scan the information for what the reader needs, so you might want to consider learning how to add your own. Content such as blogs and reviews may not require a TOC, but others like whitepapers, e-books, and how-to manuals or documents can surely benefit from them.

How to Add a Table of Contents to Microsoft Word

The process is rather simple, though it may differ slightly depending on what edition of Word you’re using. This guide is compatible with the following Microsoft Word versions:

  • Word 2019
  • Word 2016
  • Word 2013
  • Word 2010
  • Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Word for the web

How to Add a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word on Windows

Headings are required to create a Table of Contents in Word. You can choose what headings your TOC will show, such as down to H3s or even as far as H7s. Here’s how to add Table of Contents to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word for Web, and Office 365 in Windows.

  1. Place your cursor in the desired location for your new TOC.
  2. You may need to create a page break or hit return to move the first page down to the next sequential page.
  3. You should have the following new page to place your Table of Contents.
  4. Click the References tab, then select Table of Contents.
  5. You should see your new Table of Contents on the blank page, as shown below. To see the whole page (with whitespace included), place the cursor in between the page break and double-click the left mouse button.

The above example shows Heading 1, Heading 2’s, and Heading 3’s. To include Heading 4’s and below, there are a couple more steps.

  1. Click the References tab and select Table of Contents, except this time, you will select the Custom Table of Contents to change options.
  2. Under the General section, click the up arrow next to Show levels: to add Heading 4 or less to the Table of contents. You can also make other TOC changes if desired.
    Microsoft Word - Table of Contents Settings
  3. Click Yes when prompted to replace the current TOC.
  4. The TOC will change according to your adjustments, as shown below.

If you make any new changes to headings, you can update the Table of Contents by clicking on the page, and then selecting Update Table.

How to Add a Table of Contents to Microsoft Word on a Mac

Although it’s almost the same, here’s how to add a table of contents to your Word document using macOS.

  1. Click where you want the table of contents in your document, select References > Table of Contents. Remember to choose the Automatic Table of Contents style unless you just want to manually update it.

Microsoft Word makes it easy to add a table of contents to any document.

Adjusting Your Table of Contents Settings

Tweaking your table of contents until it’s to your liking is necessary for many. After all, it’s one of the first things people see when reading your work.

  1. If you want to change the format, then go to Custom Table of Contents, as shown above, and click on the Formats dropdown menu.
    • There are several options, check them out until you find one that suits you. Microsoft Word - Table of Contents Format Settings
  2. If you want to change the style and font of your TOC, then click on Modify to open the Style window and click Modify again. Microsoft Word - Table of Contents Style Settings

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