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If you've created a long document, one that's more than 5 or 10 pages, you might want to include a table of contents. Not only does it help readers find the content they're looking for, but it makes you look like a real document creation pro. Best of all, creating a table of contents takes only seconds. Really! Well, it takes only seconds if you use Word's heading styles to format heading throughout your document. Now if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you either skipped or slept through the chapters about applying styles in Word's outlining feature.
Word's outlining feature will automatically apply heading styles to your outline as you build it and modify it. It makes very good sense to create a document with the outline feature or at least using the heading styles if you know it will need a table of contents. Now the document here was created with Word's outlining feature. All of its headings have been formatted with Word heading styles. So it's all ready for its table of contents. You want to start by positioning the insertion point where you want to table of contents to go. Normally, that'll be at the beginning of your document and that's where I am right now.
If you have a title page or some other front matter, it will be after that. Let's display the Document Elements Ribbon. Just click that button there. In the Table of Contents area you can click this little arrow to display a menu of different table of contents styles. What we want to do here is click one of the automatic table of contents styles, because we want Word to automatically create this for us. So I'll click this one here, the Modern one. What Word does is it goes through the document and it built your table of contents, and sure enough if you look up here at the beginning of the document, you'll see the table of contents.
I told you it only takes seconds. The table of contents is formatted based on the button you clicked. It uses a variety of TOC styles that you can redefine if you want to. Let's just pull down the Style pane of the Toolbox here so you can see what I am talking about. If I scroll down in here, you will see that there are three TOC styles and they correspond to the styles here. So if you wanted to change the way this looks, you would actually redefine these styles.
And I tell you how to redefine styles in another video. The table of contents is inserted into your document as a special Word field. When you click it, you can see the tab up on the top. Clicking the arrow in this label displays a menu that you can use to work with this. Update Table will go through your document and update the table of contents for any changes you might have made in the headings. Remove Table of Contents will take it out of your document. If you like to work harder to create your table of contents, you can do it manually.
What you would do instead is choose one of the manual styles up here. Let me pick one of these, just something that looks a little different. And you see what it's done is, it's replaced that automatic one with a manual one. All this is, is a box that's your table of contents and it's got placeholder text. You would have to go in here manually, click each placeholder, and type in the information you want including the correct page number. And you'd build you table of contents up this way again. Again, it uses the table of contents styles here.
So you would apply the right style to get the right formatting here. This can take a long time if you document is lengthy and has many headings. Personally, I would go with the automatic table of contents anytime. You can customize an automatic table of contents. Let's get rid of this one here and we'll insert a new one. So we are going to pull down the Insert menu and pick Index and Tables. This displays the Index and Tables dialog and what I want to do here is make sure I click the Table of Contents button. You've got the same formats that we had before from that menu, but now you can make additional changes in here.
For example, maybe you only want to show two levels on your table of contents instead of three. You can click this button here, make it two, or you can just type in the number two. Then when you choose the format you want and click OK, it'll make it just those two levels. You can also, in this dialog, choose Options and you can map out different styles to your table of contents. So, if you didn't use heading styles, like we did here and you used other styles, maybe styles that you created, you can map those into the table of contents level and generate your table of contents that way.
Again, this is a lot more difficult than just using the heading styles. So you can see Word's table of contents feature is very quick and easy to use if you planned ahead and properly formatted document headings. If not, you can insert a manually generated table of contents and modify the placeholder text as needed.
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