Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels.

Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 1, 2017)

If you are writing a long document or a book, you may want to create a Table of Contents (TOC) for your document. The easiest way to create a TOC is to use heading levels, as defined by the Word styles. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the TOC inserted.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click Table of Contents in the Table of Contents group. Word displays a drop-down list of TOC options.
  4. Choose Insert Table of Contents. Word displays the Table of Contents tab of the Table of Contents dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Table of Contents tab of the Table of Contents dialog box.

  6. Make sure that the Formats drop-down list is set to From Template.
  7. Using the Show Levels control, specify how many heading levels should be included in the TOC.
  8. Click on OK.

Note, again, that this process creates a TOC based on heading levels within your document. This means that your document must use heading styles throughout it. (Heading styles are named "Heading 1," "Heading 2," etc.) If you apply these as you are creating your document—or if you go back and apply the styles later—then creating the TOC is a snap, as described above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5950) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Strikethrough Shortcut Key

One common type of formatting is strikethrough, which is normally applied from the Font dialog box. There is no built-in ...

Discover More

Clearing the Contents of a Table

Want to get rid of information within a table, but not the table itself? Here's a guide to understanding the effects that ...

Discover More

Matching Formatting when Concatenating

Convert a numeric value to text and you may be surprised by how Excel displays the value. Here's a run-down on exactly ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Two-Line Headings in a TOC

If you use the TC field to mark what goes in a TOC, you may wonder why if you mark two lines together with the field they ...

Discover More

Specifying a Table of Contents Entry

If you need to create a specialized table of contents, you need to know how to add TOC entries to your document. It's ...

Discover More

Jumping Back to the TOC

Word allows you to create a table of contents that provides hyperlinks to headings within your document. It doesn't make ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.