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Microsoft Word Advanced - Create a Table of Contents

The tables of contents page you created earlier was only a simple one. There is a better way to do it. Though it is more complex. We'll see how to do that now.


You can let Microsoft Word create your Table of Contents for you. Before we do that, make sure you go through your document and highlight any titles. In our Booklet, we had titles like "The Crow and the Fox", and "Puss in Boots". Highlight these one at a time. Then from the Style drop down box, select Heading 1, as in the image below:

The Style drop down box

This will turn all of your Titles into the Heading 1 Style. We can then tell Word to base our Table of Contents on the Heading 1 Style.

If you have any sub headings in your long documents, turn these into Heading 2 or Heading 3 styles from the drop down box. You can then tell Word to add these sub headings to your Table of Contents page. But our booklet is only simple, so we only need the Heading 1 style.

Once all your titles are formatted to your chosen Styles, do the following.

  • Move your cursor to the page on which you want your contents page to appear. Then from the menu bar, click on Insert
  • From the drop down menu, click Index and Tables.
  • The Index and Tables dialogue box will appear. Click on the Table of Contents tab at the top, to see the following:

The Table of Contents tab

In the dialogue box above, we've elected to Show page numbers, and to Right-align page numbers. We've also set the Tab leader to be dots. As we want to build our contents page on our chosen Styles (Heading 1), click the Options button at the bottom. The following box appears:

The Options box

The Styles chosen have a tick next to them. To get rid of an option, simply click inside the textbox and delete the number. For our booklet, click inside the 3 textbox and delete this number. Do the same for number 2. You should then be left with a tick next to Heading 1. Click OK.

We can modify the font used for the Tables of Contents. We'll make sure ours matches our Heading 1 style. So do this:

  • Click the Modify button on the Table of Contents tab
  • You'll get a Style box popping up
  • Click the Modify button on this box to get the Modify Style box, which looks like this:

Modify the Style

The area we're interested in is circled in red, Based on.

  • From the drop down box, select Heading 1. Then click OK.
  • Click Apply on the Style box to return to the Table of Contents tab
  • Then click OK
  • Your new table of contents will appear, as in the image below:

The finished tables of contents page

When you move your mouse over a title, it changes to a hand. This allows you to click on a story, and have Word jump to that section. Notice, too, that Word has inserted the page numbers and story titles for us. Much easier than typing, when you get the hang of it!

In the next part of these Word tutorials, we'll see how to create a logo.

Learn How to Create a Logo in Microsoft Word -->

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