Did you know: Adding A Table of Contents

You’ve added all of your Headings with Heading Styles, but do they do anything other than look good?  Definitely!  They let you use Word’s powerful organizational tools – Navigation and Table of Contents.


It’s hard to move between sections when you are working on a long document.  You can use your Heading styles to move between sections with Navigation” 

  1. Go to your View tab. 
  2. Then click “Navigation Pane.” 

This opens up a pane on the left of your document that lets you move around.  If you see pages, you can switch to your Headings by clicking the three dots (list icon).  Now when you click a Heading, you’ll go right to that section.

Word for Mac, View tab, cursor on "Navigation Pane" checkbox.  Navigation Pane is open on the left side of the document, showing the document headings.

Are you using Word for Windows?  You can also move entire sections using drag and drop!

Table of Contents

With Heading Styles, you can add a Table of Contents with just a few clicks.  

  1. Make sure hidden characters are turned off (the Paragraph mark in your Home Tab)
  2. Go to top of your Tables section (the part that uses Roman numbers)
  3. Go to the Reference tab
Word for Mac, Reference tab, cursor on arrow next to the Table of Contents icon on the far left of the tab
  1. Click the arrow next to Table of Conents (on the left part of the ribbon)
  2. Choose “custom” (we won’t use the default options)
Word for Mac, References tab, Table of Contents menu, cursor on "Custom Table of Conents".
  1. Set the number of levels you want to use for your Table of Contents.  The default level is three, but if that makes your Table too long, you may choose to set it to 2.  
  2. You can Modify the font or other attributes. Different parts of the Table of Contents have their own styles, including each heading level.
  3. When you click “OK,” Word will add your Table of Contents!
Word for Mac, Table of Contents dialog box, cursor on "Show Levles"

The result will look something like this:

Sample Table of Contents with two levels

Your Table of Contents can be updated at any time.  If you reordered your arguments, added a new section, or removed something, you’ll want to update your TOC.  Right-click and select ”update field,” then “update everything”.

Word for Mac, right-click on table of contents, cursor on "update field."
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