Automatically Create And Update Index or Table Of Content In Microsoft Word [Any Version]

If you have to use Microsoft Office Word to create large documents for whatever reasons, you will find this short and quick tutorial very useful and handy. In this article, we share with you very simple steps with which you can generate Index or Table of content in your word documents without manually typing it. When I was in college, I had to make MS word reports with Index or Table of Content in the first two or three pages. If I typed it manually with the page numbers for all the content, there was lot of headache and manual effort involved in creating and updating it in case you add more content to your document.

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Interestingly, Microsoft Office Word does offer automatic generation of table of content or Index and what is even better is that you can update the index automatically after you update the document, so no manual effort is needed. Just follow these simple steps to learn and do it yourself in less than 5 minutes. I am using Microsoft Office Word 2012, but this option is there in all the versions, just the menu and user interface is slightly different. In case you have another version installed, just follow the Menu item names and locate the same on your version of MS word and it will work.

How To Automatically Generate Table Of Content In Microsoft Office Word

Step 1: Add Headings To Content

In most of the cases, a word document is split into chapters, sections or a flow in which certain content is the main entry of the chapter or section etc. In this example, I take example of a small report with two chapters where chapter 1 has one main section which has 2 sub-sections and chapter 2 has one sub-section. Now first and foremost requirement to automate the table of content is to make the main headings known to MS Word. For this, just click on the heading, which is “First Chapter” in below document and in style section click on Heading 1. This will mark the same as first heading.

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Similarly mark the other sub-sections as heading 2, and if you have further deep headings, you can use heading 3 and 4 etc.

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In similar way we mark the heading 1 and heading 2 in chapter 1.

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Same way we mark the headings in chapter 2.

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Step 2: Create Table Of Content Automatically

This step is simpler than it sounds. First of all, scroll to page where you want to insert the table of content. In most cases, it will be in first 2 or 3 pages just after the cover page. Once you are there, simply go to References > Table Of Content and select the style of the table of content you want to show in your document and it will simply be added to the document.

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What you see below is an automatically generated table of content with page number automatically updated as per the placement of the headings in the document.

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In case you update the document after you generate this table of content, it will become obsolete or incorrect, but don’t worry, since its automatically generated, it can be automatically updated too, simply hover to the top left corner of the table of content and it will show you an option to Update table, simply click on that and it will be updated automatically.

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We hope this tutorial will help you save a lot of manual effort and time. Do share this tutorial with your friends and family. Check out some more useful Microsoft Office Tutorial and Tips by Trouble Fixers.

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