Table of Contents

A Table of Contents is generally required only in documents that are longer than four or five pages.

The purpose of a Table of Contents is to provide the reader with an overview of what is contained within the document / book, and to help the reader quickly find any particular section in which they may be interested.

Inserting a Table of Contents into a document is relatively easy provided the document uses "Heading Styles". For information on the use of Heading Styles - click here.

It is most important that you appreciate that there is no need to type a Table of Contents. The insertion of a Table of Contents is an automated task which requires no typing.

To insert a Table of Contents you will need to locate the appropropriate part of the menu in MS Word (whichever version you have). In MS Word 2000, the appropriate part of the menu is as follows:

In MS Word 2000, you will need to click on "Insert" and then "Index and Tables".

The following dialogue box will open:

You are now being presented with a number of choices:

  1. The green circle shows you how and where you are given a choice of how you want your Table of Contents to look i.e. what format.
  2. The red circle shows you that you can turn page numbers on or off. Normally your table of contents will have page numbers, so keep this ticked.
  3. The blue circle, is important, and shows you that you can choose the level of complexity of Table of Contents. If you select "1" your table of contents will show only the major headings, and if you choose "2" (as in the above example) your Table of Contents will reveal headings and sub-headings. It is recommended that keep to either "1" or "2". If you leave the default value of "3", you Table of Contents may be in danger of being too complex, and as a result, too long.

Try an Exercise!

To complete this exercise you will need to download the following file:

Right-click on the link and select "Save Target As" -
then save file to your C:/My Documents Directory

When you have downloaded the file you will need to find and open it with MS Word.

Your task is to add a Table of Contents

When you have finished your Table of Contents for the report it will look as below:

To begin this task download the file wordex11.doc as instructed above. You should insert the Table of Contents that you are going to make as the next page after the cover page of the report.

You will need to insert a page break before at the start of the line "The President's Report".

The document "1994 Annual Report of the Queensland Weightlifting Association Inc." has been formatted using "styles" for headings:

    • Heading 1 style is blue

    • Heading 2 style is red

The use of these heading styles will enable Microsoft Word to very easily compile a Table of Contents.




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