[techtalk] Tech-Talk: WORD - Add a Table of Contents ... 3 Easy Steps

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Sep 20 10:48:55 PDT 2017


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 This Week's Tech-Talk: WORD

1. VIDEO ...  Add Table of Contents ... 3 Easy Steps
2. ARTICLE ... Add Table of Contents ... 3 Easy Steps
3. COMMUNICATING ... Getting people to move closer

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Tech-Talk: WORD - Add Table of Contents ... 3 Easy Steps


Have you ever found yourself in this type of situation?

"I'm trying to remember the steps I need to customize a gift certificate. (One of my vendors did something really nice and I want to show my appreciation.) I know I have it, but it's buried somewhere in a big document on processes and procedures. I'm in a hurry! How am I going to find it quickly?"


If you've ever tried to navigate a long document to find what you needed, you had to scroll and scroll searching for the section that you wanted, right?

Fortunately, my Process and Procedures document had a Table of Contents (TOC). So instead of having to scroll through 50+ pages, I quickly found the Gift Certificate Process in the front. I clicked on the listing in the Table of Contents (TOC) ... and was instantly taken to the page I needed!

A TOC not only let's you find things quickly in a document, but it also serves as a summary of the key points for the reader -- giving them a bird's eye view of the document contents.


For example, you could be:

·     Writing an important funding request.
·     Crafting an employee handbook.
·     Putting together a conference booklet with a breakdown of events each day.

These documents can become long and complex. And because you've probably added headings and subheads in the documents, they can be collected into a Table of Contents in a few easy steps.

If you think you have to type your TOC into the document manually, throw that thought out the window. Let's take a look at how to add a Table of Contents easily!

Add a Table of Contents in 3 Steps!

NOTE: Instructions are provided for Word 2013/2016 -- but you can use the same process to create one in Word 2010 & 2007.

The main concept to grasp is the Table of Content feature uses the Headings (or Styles) in your document. Any headings and sub-headings you have will be tagged -- which will make up the text in the Table of Contents.

You'll have three steps: 1) Tag the headings, 2) Convert them to a Table of Contents, and 3) Make any modifications you'd like. It's that simple!

Step 1 -- Tag your Headings and Subheadings with Styles.

Once you have created your content, make sure that you have used levels of Headings and Subheadings throughout your document. To tag a heading/subheading to appear in your TOC:

·     Highlight the Heading/subheading.

·     In the Home tab in the Styles section, click on the preferred TOC level (Heading 1, 2, 3, etc..)

·     Move through your document highlighting and applying Styles until you reach the end.

[TOC level]

TIP: In the default Styles list, you may only have Heading 1 and Heading 2 showing. You may want to use additional levels in your TOC, so you need to add these to your Styles section in the ribbon. To do this:

·     Click on the down arrow in the right corner of the Styles section on the Home Tab.

·     At the very bottom click on the third icon at the very bottom of the menu (when you mouse over it, it shows Manage Styles).

·     Click on the style you want to add to the bar and under Set whether style shows when viewing recommended styles, click the Show button.

·     You can also re-order styles in this window to your preference.

·     When finished click OK.

[TOC styles]

Step 2 -- Add a Table of Contents to Your Document

[Add TOC]

·     Make sure you have a blank page at the beginning of your document. If you have a cover page, you can add a blank page right after it by going to the Insert Tab and clicking the Page Break option.

·     Go to the References tab and in the Table of Contents group, click Table of Contents. There are two choices at the top. Automatic Table 1 creates the table with the title "Contents." While Automatic Table 2 creates the same table, only it is titled "Table of Contents."

·     That's it! Your TOC will be added.

TIP: If you want to make formatting changes to the Tab leader (dots between the text and page number) the font, font size, or other formatting attributes of the TOC:

·     Go back to the Reference tab, click on the Table of Contents and choose Custom Table of Contents option at the bottom.

·     Make changes to the Tab leader and levels that show here.

·     To make changes to the font styles, click the Modify button at the bottom of the dialog box and specify your formatting for each TOC heading level.

[modify TOC]

Step 3 -- Making Changes to Your Table of Contents

Once you have inserted your TOC, you may have updates to your document that shift the content around and change the page numbers in certain sections.

After you've completed your text changes to the document, to update the TOC:

[Update table]

·     Go to the Table of Contents, in the References tab, in the Table of Contents section, click on the Update Table option. Or, highlight the TOC and an Update Table option will appear at the top.

·     Select to Update page numbers only or Update entire table depending on the changes that you've made. If you just added more text that shifted the page numbers you just need the first option. If you've added more headings and subheadings and tagged them with a Style to be added to your table, choose to update the entire table.

[update table]


Communicating: Presenting
Bring your group closer together

If you are presenting to a small group in a conference room, or are on a stage with hundreds of people in the audience ... and people are spread out with a lot of empty seats between them, you know you've lost your audience.

No matter how great your presentation is, you will have less engagement from your listeners as they will not feel as much "part of the group."

What do you typically do? You encourage them to come up closer. But no one moves. Begging doesn't help ... and it's not very professional. So what can you do?

A Trick For You

First, ask everyone to "Stand Up"!

They will! Then you can ask them to come closer to the stage, or fill in the gaps so everyone’s in the middle, together and able to be more engaged.

It's simple, and effective!


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
Technology Development Consultant
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