Build Your Own Table of Contents (Word 2013)

Got tired of using Word’s default built-in Table of Contents (TOC)? Looking all too plain and boring? Why not control your own destiny TOC and make it a little more interesting? You can add colours, make the headings bigger or smaller, and even control the spacing for the headings.

We’ll start with creating a sample TOC below:

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These are just plain text. You’ll need to format the headings before Word can recognize it as TOC.

1.  Select the first sentence “CHAPTER 1 – MICROSOFT STYLE AND VOICE”. In the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab in the Styles group, click Heading 1.

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2.  Repeat the same step for CHAPTER 2 and 3.

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3.  Select the first sub headings 1.1 and 1.2. In the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab in the Styles group, click Heading 2.

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4.  Repeat the same step for the sub headings 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, and 3.2.

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5.  Select the second sub headings 2.2.1 and 2.2.2. In the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab in the Styles group, click Heading 3.

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6.  Repeat the same step for the sub headings 3.2.1 and 3.2.2.

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7.  Now that the text are formatted as headings, we’re ready to create a TOC. Place your cursor at the top of the page. Go to References tab, click Table of Contents and select Custom Table of Contents.

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8.  Leave all other settings as they are. Click Modify.

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9.  In the Style dialog box, select TOC 1 and click Modify.

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10.  In the Formatting section, select Arial, 14pt, Bold and dark red. You’ll see a live preview of the formatting just below the section.

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11.  Click Format at the bottom left and select Paragraph.

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12.  Adjust the Before and After spacing to 12pt. Click OK.

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13.  You’re back at the Modify Style dialog box. Click OK.

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14.  You’re back at the Style dialog box. Select TOC 2 and click Modify.

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15.  In the Formatting section, select Arial and 12pt.

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16.  Click Format at the bottom left and select Paragraph.

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17.  Adjust the Before and After spacing to 6pt. Click OK.

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18.  You’re back at the Modify Style dialog box. Click OK.

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19. You’re back at the Style dialog box. Select TOC 3 and click Modify.

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20.  In the Formatting section, select Arial, 12pt and Italic.

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21.  Click Format at the bottom left and select Paragraph.

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22.  Adjust the Before and After spacing to 6pt. Click OK.

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23.  You’re back at the Modify Style dialog box. Click OK.

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24.  You’re back at the Style dialog box. Click OK.

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25.  You’re back at the Table of Contents dialog box. Click OK.

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And there you have it, your very own customised TOC!

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If you want to edit the TOC at a later time, just go to References tab, click Table of Contents and select Custom Table of Contents. You may also find this useful to help you with controlling where your heading starts in a document. In my next tutorial, I’ll show you how you can adjust the indentation and spacing between the numbers and text in the headings.

 

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