A table of contents provides the reader with a quick and easy way to navigate through the document. If you create a table of contents in Microsoft Word, for example, you will see different sections listed with page numbers, which you can click to navigate to other parts of your document.

However, after creating a table of contents in Word, you may need to make some changes. You may want to change the style or alignment. Or you may find that your document is better off without it.

To help you, we will show you how to edit, update and delete an index (Table of Contents or Index of Contents) in Word.

How to edit an index (table of contents or index of contents) in Word

After inserting your table of contents, you may want to try a different style or create a custom style that suits your document.

Change table type

In Word, you can switch from a table of contents automatic to one Handbook and vice versa. You can also choose between two different types of automatic tables.

To change the current type, select your table and click the button Table of Contents at the top of the table. You can also go to the tab References and click the drop-down arrow for Table of Contents on the left side of the tape.

Choose the type you want to use from the drop down menu and your current table will update.

Change the table style

You can customize the table style used for your index. For example, you can choose a different tab leader or remove the page number alignment.

To get started, select your current table. Go to the tab References, click the drop-down arrow for Table of Contents, and select Custom Table of Contents.

When the window appears, confirm that the tab Table of Contents is selected at the top.

You will then see two previews, one for printing and one for the web. The Print preview It is what you will see on your computer. For each preview, you have options that you can customize. For instance:

  • Print preview: You can uncheck the boxes to show page numbers or right-align page numbers. You can also use a different tab guide, such as a dashed line or an underline.

  • Web preview: If you are going to publish your document on the web, you can display hyperlinks or page numbers by checking (or unchecking) the box.

The section general at the bottom of the window it covers print and web, allowing you to choose a different format or a number of levels. You can select a format Classic or Formal or choose one Modern or Simple.

Below that, you can adjust the number of levels to display in your table.

When you’re done making changes to your custom table of contents, click To accept.

You will be asked if you want to replace your current table with the custom one. Click on To accept to replace it or in Cancel to ignore the changes.

How to update an index (table of contents or index of contents) in Word

The steps above will help you replace your current table, but there are other changes you can make to your document that can change your table as well. For example, you can change the headings of your document, or break it up by adding more headings.

For these types of changes, you can update an automatic table of contents with the click of a button. To do this, select your table of contents and click the button Update table that appears on top of it.

Depending on the changes you have made to your document, you may see a pop-up message. This message asks if you want to update just the page numbers or the entire table.

Make your choice and then click To accept.

How to delete an index (table of contents or index of contents) in Word

If your document ends up being shorter than you anticipated and you no longer need or want the index, you can easily remove it.

To do this, select the table and click the button Table of Contents from the top. You can also go to the tab References and click the drop down arrow Table of Contents.

Please select Delete Table of Contents at the bottom of the menu. You will not be asked to confirm the deletion.

Edit the table of contents in Word

Making changes to your table of contents in Word is pretty easy. Updating a table automatically when the document changes is really easy too. With these tips, you can make your table of contents more useful or attractive to the reader.

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