Most academic and non-academic documents that have sections and different topics covered have a table of content. Most people find it the most frustrating part especially when you need to enter all the topics and page numbers manually. I was one of them and I am sure you were too. This tutorial takes you through how to insert a table of content in word online without much effort.
To insert a table of content you will need to format the document in a way that it can automatically find headings. this can be done by using Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on throughout the text. At the end click on references > select Table of content. you will have the table ready in no time.
Adding a table of contents to a word online document
A table of contents is important when it comes to presenting data in a systematic order. here is how you can easily add an index or table of contents to your document.
- Open the document you would like to add the table of contents to. This can be done by loggin into your Microsoft account or accessing the document from the one drive application.
- Once you have the document in front of you, double-click to open it.
- You can now click on Reference on the main ribbon.
- Under reference, you will have the Table of contents option
- Click on it and you will have a table of content ready in no time.
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Error while trying to insert table of content in word online
If you are trying to add a table of contents to your document but have an error popping up this is what you can do.
Do not panic, this is a common error. this happens because the program cannot find the titles in your text. For this, you will first have to define the titles.
- Start by closing the dialogue box by clicking on OK
- Scroll through your document and look for heading and subheadings. we would generally bold or underline these.
- Highlight the headings
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- Once the heading is highlighted click on Home
- Now under home go to the Styles option
- here you will see the different styles available. the text is not in the Normal format. you will need to select Heading 1 for titles and Heading 2 for subtitles
- Repeat this process for all the headings and subheadings in the document.
- If you have too many and do not want to repeat the process you can
- Change the format of 1 heading > highlight it and click on Format painter
- This option copies the formatting of the text copied.
- You can now transfer this formatting to another text by selecting it.
- This process will have to be repeated for all the headings in the document.
Once you have all the headings and subheadings defined you will be able to add the table of contents to the document. simply follow the steps mentioned in the previous section and you are good to go.
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Updating table of contents in word online
Multiple drafts of a single document are normal but does this mean you will have to edit the table of contents manually? No, in fact when it comes to the table of contents in word online there is an option to update the table as and when there is an edit.
The updating is done provided the headings are specified.
- Once you have defined the headings and subheadings of the document go to the table and right-click.
- You will have dropdown menu
- Select Update Table of contents
- The new heading will now show on the table.
- This option will also be available when you hover over the table after adding new headings. you can simply click on Update and you will have the new heading included as part of the table.
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How to insert a table of content in word online on Mac OS?
Here is how you can add a table of contents to a word online document on a Mac OS system.
- Open the document you would like to add the table of contents to
- Click on the spot where you want to add the table
- Go to References > Table of contents
- Choose the Automatic Table of Contents option from the list
- Before creating the table of contents be sure to define the heading and subheadings in the document. Without this you will not be able to create a table of content.
- Choose from the different styles available to format the look and feel of your table.
- If you have missed entries in the table go back to the document
- Select the text you would like as a heading
- Click on Home > go to Styles
- Select Heading 1 for main headings and Heading 2 for subheadings
- You can now go to the table hover over it with your mouse
- You will have an update option on the top
- Click on the update option to include the entries you missed.
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Frequently asked questions
Unfortunately, you cannot add a table of content to a word online document using your phone. You can however do it from some tablets but that depends on the model and other specifications. it is better to create a table of content from a laptop or desktop. this being said you can format the document to add headings and subheadings to the text.
we suggest you do this on the go and then create a table once you have a laptop or desktop handy.
Hope you found this article helpful, it took you through
- Adding a table of contents to a word online document
- Error while trying to insert table of content in word online
- Updating table of contents in word online
- How to insert a table of content in word online on Mac OS?
- Can you add a table of contents to a word online document on android devices?
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My name is Carissa Gudino and I am an expert in word online, using Word Online in my day-to-day tasks. In this blog, I will share with you tips and tutorials on how to use word online to its fullest potential. I work for various clients in various countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. My tutorials are designed to help beginners, as well as more experienced users, learn new tricks and tips on Microsoft word online. Check out more.