Insert a table of contents

A table of contents in Word is based on the headings in your document.

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Create the table of contents

  1. Put your cursor where you want to add the table of contents.

  2. Go to References > Table of Contents. and choose an automatic style.

    Create a table of contents

  3. If you make changes to your document that affect the table of contents, update the table of contents by right-clicking the table of contents and choosing Update Field.

To update your table of contents manually, see Update a table of contents.

If you have missing entries

Missing entries often happen because headings aren't formatted as headings.

  1. For each heading that you want in the table of contents, select the heading text.

  2. Go to Home > Styles, and then choose Heading 1.

    Add a heading
  3. Update your table of contents.

To update your table of contents manually, see Update a table of contents.

Create the table of contents

Word uses the headings in your document to build an automatic table of contents that can be updated when you change the heading text, sequence, or level.

  1. Click where you want to insert the table of contents – usually near the beginning of a document.

  2. Click References > Table of Contents and then choose an Automatic Table of Contents style from the list.

    Note: If you use a Manual Table of Contents style, Word won't use your headings to create a table of contents and won't be able to update it automatically. Instead, Word will use placeholder text to create the look of a table of contents so you can manually type each entry into the table of contents. To update your manual table of contents, see Update a table of contents.

    On the References tab, click Table of Contents, and then select an Automatic Table of Contents style from the gallery

If you want to Format or customize your table of contents, you can. For example, you can change the font, the number of heading levels, and whether to show dotted lines between entries and page numbers.

If you have missing entries

Missing entries often happen because headings aren't formatted as headings.

  1. For each heading that you want in the table of contents, select the heading text.

  2. Go to Home > Styles, and then choose Heading 1.

    Add a heading
  3. Update your table of contents.

To update your table of contents manually, see Update a table of contents.

  1. Put your cursor where you want to add the table of contents.

  2. Go to References > Table of Contents, and choose Insert Table of Contents.

If you make changes in your document that affect the table of contents, do the following:

  1. Click or tap in the table of contents,

  2. Go to References > Table of Contents, and choose Update Table of Contents.

For more detailed ways of updating the table of contents, or to create a table of contents, use the Open in Word command to open the document in your desktop version of Word (Windows or Mac).

Near the top of the screen, click Edit in Word

To learn more, see steps for creating a table of contents in Word for Windows or Mac.

Get the learning guide

For a hands-on guide that steps you through the process of creating a table of contents, download our Table of Contents tutorial. Or, in desktop Word, go to File > New, and search for table of contents.

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