You can create table of contents and professional-looking formatting in Microsoft Word that’ll knock the socks off your reader. It’s fairly easy. You just need to know the basics.
I created a table of contents video to show you how easy this is to do.
The Basics of Word Styles
A couple of things to know about using styles. There are paragraph styles, table styles, and character styles. In the video and for table of contents paragraph styles is where it’s at.
Remember in Word, a paragraph is defined as any line or lines before the paragraph mark.
Think of a paragraph style as a packet of formatting for your paragraphs. Even the three-word title above (Intro Main Char.) is considered a paragraph.
If each of your chapter headings is in the Heading 1 style, you can make mass changes that will impact all of your chapter headings without the need to format each one individually. Not only does it save time, it ensures consistency. Want to change your chapters to be red and centered? Just do it in the heading style pane. Or make the change to one of the chapter headings and the update the
Want to change all your chapters to be black font and centered? Just do it in the heading style pane. Or make the change to one of the chapter headings and update the Heading 1 style to match it.
All of this is detailed in the video below.
The Normal style is the basis of most of Word’s styles. I tend to use Normal as default paragraph for the bulk of my documents. You can also use a body style. Either way, you can quickly make the entire text of your document, for instance, double spaced with a first line indent of .25″, all in less than a few seconds. Or maybe you want to change everything from the font of Times New Roman to Arial. Update the style.
Table of Contents
The video above uses Word 2010. I tend to like it better than the newer versions of Word but the functionality is the same. You can make a table of contents in other ways but the way I describe it in the video is not only the easiest but makes it dynamic. Changes to text will be updated in your table of contents with a click of a button.