• A table of contents is an indispensable feature of long Word documents, since it allows a greater organization of contents and, for the reader, to quickly access them.
  • Just as it is essential to know the trick to insert this table of contents, it is no less important to know how to update it, to ensure that it is never out of date with respect to the text.

When we talk about text documents, especially those documents that have a long extension, it is often difficult to find some of their internal elements. Therefore, if you want your documents to be better organized, you should consider inserting a table of contents in Word documents. A table of contents will allow anyone who accesses these files to be able to find the featured titles and subtitles in just a few seconds without wasting too much time on it, improving your reading.

Keep in mind that not only do you need to know how to create a table of contents, but just as or even more importantly know how to update it because, otherwise, every time a change is made to its content, that change will not be reflected in that table of contents, and it will no longer be useful.

Having made this clarification, the processes are not complicated at all once we assimilate them, so we are going to explain what are the step-by-step steps that you have to follow, always limiting ourselves to Word from Office for PC, covering all the recent word processor versions from the folks at Microsoft.

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Insert a table of contents in Word on PC

The first thing will be to create the table of contentscustomize it and display what we want it to display:

  • With the Word document in question open, tap where you want to add the table of contents
  • There go to References, Table of Contents, and choose one of the available automatic styles
  • Automatically, the table of contents will be organized according to the style you have chosen
  • As you introduce changes, you can update it manually from Update field, with right click

If you notice missing entries, some titles may not actually have title formatting, and may not display. You have to make sure that all content dividers, H1, H2, H3, etc., are marked as such.

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And how to update the table of contents?

Next, you have to learn how to update the table of contentswhich is also not complicated at all:

  • With the Word document in question open, go to References, Update Table
  • Click on Update table of contents, selecting one of the available options:
  1. Update page numbers only: This only updates the pages the titles are on and ignores changes made to the title text, so it’s not as recommended.
  2. Update the entire table: This will reflect updates to the title text as well as page changes. We advise you to always opt for this last modality, although everything depends on you.
  • Finally, select Accept to activate one of the two updates

By last, don’t forget that Word can’t update manually created tables, thus calling those that have not been created automatically from the titles. These changes must be entered by yourself, manually.

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You can also manage Word’s tables of contents to enrich the reading of the text.

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