Tag Archives: TOC

Create a Table of Contents

Click here to display the Table of Contents

Although it’s not strictly necessary to include a Table of Contents [TOC] in a paperback novel, Word does offer two automatic TOC styles that are very easy to use. Both are based on the Heading styles, so if you used Heading 1 on your Chapter headings, most of the work has already been done.

As well as being easy to use, Word’s automatic TOC styles are also easy to update – for example if you add or remove significant amounts of text from the document.

How to generate a simple Table of Contents

If you have not already done so, format each chapter heading as ‘Heading 1’ (see ‘Designing the interior format of your book, Using Heading 1 for Chapter Headings’).

Next, click at the end of the Copyright Page and insert a Page Break as shown:

The cursor will now be positioned at the top of the new page.

Open the ‘References’ Tab and click Table of Contents:

You should now see a drop down list of options. At the top of the list are previews of the pre-set TOC styles. At the bottom are four further options. The fourth option is only available with Custom Table of Contents.

Click either Automatic Table 1 or Automatic Table 2 to select it.

Note: if you generate a Table of Contents before formatting the page numbering of your book, Word will use its automatic numbering system – i.e. counting the Title page as ‘1’ – for the Table of Contents. After you have formatted the page numbering, you will need to update the TOC to reflect the correct page numbers.

How to update a Table of Contents

Any changes to your document, such as the addition or subtraction of pages [or the formatting of the page numbering], will mean that the Table of Contents must be updated.

To begin, click inside the Table of Contents to automatically select the entire table. It will look something like this:

Next, open the References tab and click the Update Table option:

Word will check every Heading in the table and update the page numbers as required.

Note: if you have made substantial changes to the document, Word may ask if you want to update the page numbers or the entire table. Select the entire table.

How to remove a Table of Contents

Click inside the Table of Contents to select the entire table.

Next, open the References tab and click the option for Table of Contents.

On the Table of Contents menu, click the Remove Table of Contents option:

This will remove both the TOC entries and the table itself.

Note: You can click ‘Remove Table of Contents’ without first selecting the TOC entries, but this will cause a Continuous Section Break to be left behind. Not only will this section break clutter up the file with unnecessary commands and functions, it may also interfere with manual section breaks inserted later on.

In the next section we will look section breaks and how to use them.

Click here to display the Table of Contents


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