Video: Take tables of contents (TOCs) to the next level

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Delete the current TOC, click where you want to add the new TOC, open the Table of Contents gallery, and click Custom Table of Contents. To build a Custom Table of Contents, you need to tell Word what you want, and this is where you do it.

Create a custom TOC

  1. Click REFERENCES > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents.

  2. Make your changes in the Table of Contents dialog box. You’ll see what they look like in the Print Preview and Web Preview areas.

    • To add a dot leader, or dotted line, between each entry and its page number, click the Tab leader list, and then click the dotted line. You can also choose a dash leader.

    • To change the overall appearance of your Table of Contents, click the Formats list, and then click the format that you want.

    • To change the number of levels displayed in your Table of Contents, click Show levels, and then click the number of levels you want.

  3. Click OK.

Want more?

Introduction to Tables of Contents (TOCs)

Format or customize a table of contents

Advanced tables of contents

In the previous course, Introduction to Tables of Contents, we created a TOC by going to the REFERENCES tab, clicking Table of Contents, and selecting an Automatic Table of Contents.

Automatic Tables of Contents, or TOCs, are easy to create, and you can update them automatically whenever you make a change to your document.

All you have to do is click Update Table and Update entire table.

In this course, we'll go to the next level and create a Custom Automatic Table of Contents, and then add our own formatting.

Let's start by deleting the current TOC. The best way to do that is click Table of Contents and Remove Table of Contents.

That way you can be sure that everything gets deleted.

Now click where you want to add the TOC, open the Table of Contents gallery, and click Custom Table of Contents.

To build a Custom Table of Contents, you need to tell Word what you want, and this is where you do it.

You can decide whether to include page numbers and hyperlinks. Here you can choose a Tab leader, which are these dots that go between the table entry and page number.

Let's change that to dashes.

You can also change the number of outline levels that are shown.

By default, a Table of Contents shows 3 levels - Headings 1, 2 and 3.

Let's change that by changing the number next to Show levels to 4.

Now for more options related to levels, click Options....

This dialog box lets you determine what Word includes in the Table of Contents.

By default, Word maps the 4 levels we selected to the first 4 headings.

So in other words, when Word builds our table of contents it includes any text that's formatted with heading styles one through four, and it assigns them to TOC levels one through four.

We could change this, for example, so that the Heading 5 Style is mapped to TOC level 4. But we'll just stick with the default for now.

The last thing we'll do is make one overall formatting adjustment. We'll do more in the next movie.

By default, the Table of Contents uses whatever document formatting is included in the document template.

But let's try one of the other formats. Click the Formats drop-down. The choices you see here are roughly the same as those you have on the DESIGN tab in Document Formatting, except these only affect the look of the Table of Contents.

Again, preview shows you how the different formats will look. For now, let's go with Formal.

So let's see what happens when we click OK.

Word builds the Automatic Table of Contents from the four heading styles, based on the options we chose.

If you don't like the way something looks, go back to Custom Table of Contents and make your changes.

I think for formatting, I'll use Simple instead.

Notice that when we select this format, the page numbers are no longer right aligned. So let's change that.

Click OK, and OK again to tell Word to remove the current table and build the new one.

So, we have done some customizing, but what about making specific changes to font styles or margins, things like that?

Up next, you'll see how to add formatting to a Table of Contents.

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