How do I create a table of contents?

ModeratorModerator Creator
edited February 2018 in Interior Formatting

The ease with which you'll create a table of contents will be directly related to how well you know the intricacies of your word processing program. Microsoft Word, Works, Word Perfect and Open Office all have the capacity to create tables of contents, but some writers still find it more expedient to create them manually. Two rules apply to tables of contents, regardless of which software you use. First, you should give its page the title "Contents." Second, your table of contents page should be located after the copyright page, dedication and preface.

Using Open Office
In Open Office, go to the Help section and read these topics: Creating a Table of Contents, Defining Index or Table of Contents Entries, and Formatting an Index or Table of Contents. You may also check out the great tutorial at

Using WordPerfect To create a table of contents in WordPerfect, follow the instructions in your Help guide or at this website:

Using Microsoft Word MS Word offers nine different heading styles, apparently complicating our task, but a couple of tutorials can be found at and also allows you to create your table of contents manually, without using the more sophisticated styles settings. Use the Mark Table of Contents box to insert TOC fields into your document. Follow these steps.

  1. Highlight the first line of text that you want to include in your table of contents and press ALT+SHIFT+O.
  2. In the Level box, select the level and click Mark. (Mark 1 is left-aligned, Mark 2 is indented, Mark 3 is indented even more – you get the picture.)
  3. To mark additional entries, select the text, click in the Entry box and click Mark. When you're through adding entries, click Close.
  4. Click where you want to insert the table of contents.
  5. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and click Index and Tables.
  6. Click the Table of Contents tab.
  7. Click the Options button.
  8. In the Table of Contents Options box, click to select the Table entry fields check box.
  9. Clear the Styles and Outline levels check boxes.
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