There are a few basic steps to creating a Table of Contents in a document. Apply heading styles and then insert the Table of Contents. Word has a built-in Table of Contents in its Ribbon for both Mac and Windows versions of Microsoft Office. Microsoft builds in fonts and styles associated with each heading accordingly, but if you would like them to be different than the built-in formatting then follow along below!

Change the default formatting before you get started (Mac | Windows):

  • Click the Styles button next to the ribbon (M); the down arrow next to the Styles ribbon (W)
  • Click the down arrow on the headings you would like to format
  • Click Modify/Modify Style
  • Choose the font, font size, and color you want to use
  • Click OK
For Google Docs, you can change the formatting at the same time text is designated a Heading
Assigning Heading Styles in Word for Mac and Windows:

  • Highlight the text you would like to change to a heading
  • Click the heading style to apply
Assigning Heading Styles in Google Docs:

  • On your computer, open a document in Google Docs
  • Select the text you want to change
  • Click the drop-down arrow next to Normal text
  • Select which Heading style to apply

Insert a Table of Contents in Word for Mac and Windows:

  • Click References
  • Click Table of Contents
  • Choose how many Headings to include
  • Table of Contents will automatically insert
Insert a Table of Contents in Google Docs:

  • Click Insert
  • Click Table of Contents
  • NOTE: Google Docs does not support leading dots in Table of Contents

Made changes to a document? Don’t forget to update your Table of Contents!

Mac and Windows: right-click on the Table of Contents block and choose “Update”
Google Docs: click the “Update” icon to the left of the Table of Contents

There is one tool to create Outlines AND Automatically add Tables of Contents to my paper? Yes, please!

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