How to Create a Table of Contents in Word 2010

November 3, 2010, By Christian Cawley

If you’re working on a long document in Word, it is pretty likely you’ll need some sort of contents page so that your audience can find what they’re looking for.

Whether you’ve been following these tutorials on basic formatting for Microsoft Word 2010 or this is your first time, we’re going to go through a couple of features that can used in many types of multi-page Word document:

  • Creating a table of contents
  • Adding references
  • Inserting footnotes

While there is no compulsion to add these to your document, there are few reports, books, dissertations or other multi-page Word files that should be without at least one of the above.

Creating a Table of Contents in Word 2010

Time was when a table of contents (TOC) in a word processed document had to be entered by hand. In longer documents this would involve a lot of scrolling back and forth, jotting down the page number and title, and hoping that the TOC wouldn’t wrap onto a new page, thereby affecting the page numbers you have just entered.

These days, it is a lot simpler than that.

In order to get your table of contents, you need first to have applied styles to headings throughout your document. This can be done via the Styles tool on the Home tab in Word, and you should at least be using the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles for your various chapter and section headings.

These will be used by Word to generate a table of contents. To create this, go to the References tab and in the Table of Contents section, use the Table of Contents menu to select from one of several built-in automatic tables. This tool will quickly read through your document and popular the contents page. Should you add any new sections later, all you will need to do is click the Update Table button for the change to be reflected in your table of contents!

Adding References and Citations to Word Documents

As well as creating a table of contents in Word 2010, you can also add citations to your text. These are very useful if you are writing a report and wish to credit someone with the quote you are using, or simply the state of affairs you are relating.

Citations can be added by placing the insertion point/cursor to the right of your referenced text, and clicking Insert Citation in the Citations & Bibliography section of the References tab.

From here, select New Source and enter the required information – things such as author name, name of the work or document, etc. With this information added, you will see that the author’s name will appear in brackets () where you placed the insertion point. The full list of references will then be added to the end of your document using the Bibliography button, which works in much the same way as the Table of Contents tool.

Inserting Footnotes in Word Documents

Similarly, you can add footnotes to your Word Documents. These can be used to add references directly in your text or even add more textual context to the matter at hand. Footnotes are represented by small superscript numbers hovering to the right of the relevant word.

To add a footnote in Word 2010, first click your mouse where you want the footnote reference go to References > Footnotes > Insert Footnote. Instantly, a number will be added (you can use the arrow in the Footnotes section to expand the properties for this function and change the numbering format to italics or text) and you will be taken to the page footer in order to add either a reference or some additional detail.

© 2008-2012 - All rights reserved | Privacy Policy