Using Microsoft Word’s Automatic Table of Contents

Applies to Word 2010 and 2013 for Windows.  Instructions for 2003, 2007, and Office for Mac 2011 can be found in the links at the bottom of the page.
  1. Before you can use the automatic table of contents feature, you must first be using styles in your document to define headers.  For more information, see the how-to on using styles in your document.
  2. To insert your table of contents, first go the References tab in the ribbon.  Click on Table of Contents and select one of the automatic table styles.  The table will be inserted at the current cursor position.
  3. Throughout your document, use the built in heading styles as described in the previously mentioned how-to.  Your headings will automatically be inserted into the table of contents, and the page numbers will update as your document changes.

sample table of contents

You can also use Microsoft Word to automatically generate a table of figures, similar to how you just created a table of contents.  More in this how-to.

More information on building a table of contents can be found at the following links:

Word 2013

Word for Mac 2011

Word 2010

Word 2007

Word 2003

Microsoft has also made a video tutorial for creating a table of contents in Word 2010, although most of the steps should apply to 2007 and 2013 as well.

Video Tutorial for Word 2010