Table of Content in Microsoft Word (All Versions) - Full Guide
table of content microsoft word

Table of Content in Microsoft Word (All Versions) – Full Guide

by Raja Mehar

Microsoft Word is the market leader in word processing softwares. It is used for all kind of reports, assignments, thesis, project reports and much more. And the one of the key component of any good thesis or assignment is table of content. Luckily, Microsoft Word comes with a built-in function for creating table of content in Microsoft Word automatically.

Also, the candy on the top with this feature is that the generated table of content updates itself automatically, as you go on writing more stuff in the document. Even more, during reader mode, just clicking on the topic name in table of content immediately takes you to that position in document.

The methodology for making table of content in Microsoft Word is same in all versions. Few changes that exist are in user-interface.

The entire procedure takes less than 5 minutes. So, read the steps below and try it for yourself.

Creating Table of Content in Microsoft Word Automatically

STEP 1: Add Systematic Headings

For proper generation of table of content, your content needs to have a systematic headings. You can do this by organizing your content into headings. And not just any headings, you have to use heading formats available in Microsoft Word (The styles of these headings can be edited by right mouse-click on heading and then in Modifiy menu).

Table of contents in Microsoft Word
Headings Panel & Navigation Panel

Make sure the hierarchy or organization of content is according to correct. You can monitor this in navigation plane on left side of window. If you don’t see a navigation plane in your version. You can always turn it on in View tab on top most ribbon.

STEP 2: Generate Table of Content Automatically

So, now everything is ready. All of your content is organized into headings and sub-headings. Now is the time for generating a table of content.

Simply, scroll to the place in the document where you want the table of content to be created.

Then, under Reference Ribbon, click Table of Contents. A drop-down menu will appear showing different styles of table of contents.

Table of contents in Microsoft Word

Pick the style you want, and it will generate a table of content automatically.

Table of contents in Microsoft Word

There you have it. A ready made table of content has just been created by Microsoft Word automatically.

Now, after addition of any new headings or sub-headings, you can update it by just clicking on update the entire table button in table settings. For this just click anywhere on the table and a menu on top of table will appear. From there, click Update Table. And then, you can either choose to update the entire table or only the numbers and just click OK, as shown below in picture.

Table of contents in Microsoft Word

So, table of content creation in Microsoft Word is simple as that.

Now, if you don’t like the automatic tables styles available, you can always download more styles online by clicking the link “More Table of Contents from” in table of content drop-down menu.

If you want manual stylizing, you can create one yourself manually. Read Below to find out how.

Manually Creating Table of Content

You can create manual stylized table of contents in Microsoft Word by clicking on “Custom Table of Contents” in insert table of content drop-down menu in references ribbon.

This will open up a new window as shown below in figure, where you can tweak all the styles to your liking. The settings include show page numbers, formatting and more.


You can also add table of figures automatically in Microsoft Word by clicking on insert table of figures under References ribbon.

We hope this tutorial was helpful to you. Do share it with friends and family. Also check out:

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