Automatic Table of contents in MS-Word 2007

How many of us know about the unique features available in Microsoft word? I bet there are very few. In this article, I will tell you guys about one of the coolest features of Microsoft Word. This really helps Technical writers and others who write documents containing lots of pages. This really helps students while preparing documents for their Final-year project.

I very recently prepared a 150 page User manual for one of the products of my company. It was my first experience with writing manuals and was expecting a review from my higher officials. One of them called me and said, The user manual is really good… But you have made mistake. I was puzzled and asked him what the mistake was. He replied You havent prepared the Table of Contents (TOC). Prepare TOC and update me again.  He hung up the phone.

Oh my god. Preparing a TOC for a 150 page document? Believe me or not, its very difficult and it would take a very long time for preparing. Thats when Google came for rescue. I found that we can create table of contents very easily using Microsoft Word. I created the TOC in around 10-15 min for the 150 page document using this cool feature.

So how to create TOC easily and how to make it auto-updatable? Just follow these simple instructions below to create TOC. There are lots of ways to create automatic TOC. But this article explains one of the easiest ways to create Automatic TOC.

Once you are done with your documentation, select each heading and apply different heading styles such as Heading 1, Heading 2 etc. that are in available in Word by default.

For example, consider these two headings,

1 Automatic Table of contents in MS Word

1.1 Steps to create Automatic table of contents

Now I will apply the different heading styles to these headings

1 Automatic Table of contents in MS Word

1.1 Steps to create Automatic table of contents

The next step is to add TOC.

To add automatic table of contents, place the cursor in the page where you want the TOC to appear and goto

In-case of MS Word 2007

References->Table of contents-> Automatic Table of contents

In-case of MS Word 2003

Insert-> References->Table of Contents

When you click on Automatic Table 1 (or) Automatic table 2, the automatic table of contents gets updated along with page numbers.

I created 2 headings as samples to show you guys how this works. Now see how the table of contents looks like for the sample headings I created.


You can also update the table using Update table option. You can either update the entire table or update only page numbers.

Suppose if you inserted some topics in-between the document, then just give the heading styles and click on Update table to update the table automatically. The table gets update along with page numbers.

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

Speak Your Mind