2 Ways to Create an Automated Table of Contents in Microsoft Word
2 Ways to Create an Automated Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

2 Ways to Create an Automated Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

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Working on a thesis is one of the mandatory things for students to graduate. If you don’t finish the thesis, you won’t pass for sure. There are many tricks that can make your thesis complete quickly, for example, such as creating an automatic table of contents that will give a neater appearance.

When the initial page looks neat, the lecturer will make it a good first impression. There’s no need to doubt the content if the work is neat, that’s how most lecturers are nowadays.

How to Create an Automated Table of Contents in Ms Office Word Applications

Making sure scientific work is tidy is one quick pass. However, all of that certainly requires a quick way or trick to make it happen. Therefore, you must master how to make the table of contents page look neat but in an automatic way.

This method can be said to be more effective than the manual method. This is because you no longer need to type one by one or even arrange chapter titles.

If you study further, Ms Office Word has many features found in the top toolbar. In fact, therein lies a smart, easy, and up-to-date way to create a table of contents automatically.

1. Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Office Word 2016

a. Automatic

Here’s how to automatically create a table of contents in Microsoft Office Word 2016:

  • Open a document in Microsoft Word that already has subtitles or headings.
  • Click on an empty area that will be used as a table of contents page.
  • You can select the References tab menu.
  • Continue by clicking the Table of Content button.


  • There will be offered several models of table of contents that can be used in your document.
  • Choose one of the available Table of Contents models.
  • That way, the titles and subtitles that you create immediately become a table of contents and their page numbers automatically.

That way, the table of contents will be automatically created on the page of your choice in a neatly organized manner. However, of course it does not immediately become like that. Therefore, you must know how the settings are made.

Usually to make a title or subtitle of a reading, you will increase the font. However, that is not the right way because it will not automatically become a table of contents.

To set it, you can choose Heading and Sub Heading, usually Heading 1 (H1), Heading 2 (H2), Heading 3 (H3), to Heading 4 (H4).

b. Setting the Title

In addition, to set the title can be done in the Styles Pane Ms Word, the way is:

  • Open the Home tab menu.
  • Then click the Styles Pane button where there will be title settings.


  • You can check or enable Show styles guides by looking at the color code on the left of the page that matches the color code in the settings panel.
  • You can arrange the titles and subtitles in the correct order.
  • You do this by selecting the title in question and then clicking on the title or heading style in accordance with the order.

That way, you will be able to create a Table of Contents automatically by setting the title first. It’s a little tricky but the results will look better.

Then, after that it doesn’t stop there because you have to first check the titles that you have set. Update the table of contents first, this can be done automatically.

  • Click the table of contents that you have created to activate.
  • There is a down arrow button at the top of the table of Content box.
  • Then you can click Update.


  • Then the table of contents will display your edits from the headings and subtitles.

Usually for this method can be done in several other versions. However, for other alternatives, you will also be introduced to how to create an automatic table of contents in Microsoft Office Word 2010.

2. Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Office Word 2010

Even though it’s been a long time, the MS Office Word 2010 application is still used by some people. This is because the size is not too heavy or the person is comfortable using this version of the application.

Not to forget, by using this 2010 version of the office application, you can also create a table of contents for a document automatically. The result will be the same as when using MS Office 2016 in the previous steps.

Therefore, you will be introduced to how to create a table of contents automatically in Ms Office Word 2010.

  • Block Title or Subtitle

The first thing to do is block the title and subtitle by selecting or you can use the quick way by clicking 3 times on the title sentence.

The type of heading for sentences that have been blocked must then be adjusted by selecting on the Home tab. There is a choice of many headings starting from H1, H2, and many others. Usually H1 for titles and H2 for subtitles.


Usually when you have selected a heading type, it will change by default with a blue font. You can modify it by right-clicking and then selecting Modify. There you can adjust the formatting for your font. Repeat for other titles and subtitles so that they are uniform.

  • Insert Pages for Table of Contents

Create a special page for the table of contents if you haven’t created one before. The method is very easy, that is, select the Insert tab Blank Page at the bottom of the page you want. For example, if you want to add under the preface then choose the bottom itself.

Then when you have successfully added a blank page, it is necessary to add a title, namely Table of Contents.

  • Entering Table of Contents on the References Tab


Your table of contents can be entered automatically by going to the References tab and then selecting Table of Contents. There will be many different styles of table of contents and you can choose the one that suits your needs.

  • Update Content on the Table of Contents

This update is the method used to modify the table of contents when there are changes to your document. These changes can occur such as adding or changing pages. The trick is to activate the table of contents and click Update Table.

After that, 2 options will appear, namely update page numbers only and update the entire table. Update page numbers only are used to update your page numbers. While updating the entire table is used to change the contents, titles, and subtitles in your table of contents.

  • Customizing Text Format

If you have completed some of the steps above then you can see that the table of contents is neatly organized with dots and page numbers. Usually the table of contents uses the default format such as the initial settings.

Therefore, you can change it by blocking all text in the box and then selecting the appropriate font and font size for your document.

After everything is in order and has been confirmed as correct as the document below, then you can directly save it by Ctrl+S or click File Save.

It’s not very easy to create an automatic table of contents using Microsoft Office for your thesis purposes. Surely the lecturer will be satisfied if the work is done diligently.

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