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Basic MSWord Instructions for Creating Indexes, Tables of Contents and More


Indexes are encouraged for non-fiction, but not necessary for fiction. Indexing is easier than you might think. The hardest part is coming up with the list of words and phrases you want to appear in the index.

1. Copy and paste the words and/or the terms you want to appear in your index into a text or other document.

2. Remove them from the index page in your book, but keep your cursor on your index page.

2. Click Edit > Find

Type or paste the first item you want to appear in your index
into the Find box. Click the enter key.

When the system finds the first instance of that phrase or word, and
while the word is still highlighted:

3. Click Insert > Index and Tables

Choose the Index tab
Click Mark Entry
Click Mark All

Then click close.

4. To make the items pop up in the Index:

Make sure your cursor is on the Index page.

Click Insert > Index and Tables

Make sure the index tab is the one you're on.

Click okay.

You can change the style (appearance) of your Index while doing that, too.

5. To update these page numbers later, simply right click on the Index page. If all the page numbers come up wrong, right click again. Sometimes the page numbers bounce back and forth but show the same two sets of page numbers over and over again. I have no idea why this happens but simply right clicking on them again will fix it. One of the sets will be the correct one.

Warning: If you use all lower-case in the words and phrases you've chosen, MSWord may skip instances where the term has capital letters, and vice-versa. You may want to search for each term individually after you're finished to make sure they're all appearing in the index. You can tell if each term is coded to the index by viewing the document using the Show All button (it looks like a paragraph symbol). If you can't find the icon, click Control / Shift / 8. Hint: When creating the index per the instructions above, your document will automatically switch to "Show All" mode. You can click the Show All icon again (or click Control / Shift / 8 again) to turn that back off when you're finished.

IMPORTANT: If your list of indexed items is short (30 or fewer items), Angela can probably help you with setting up a basic index. Simply send her the book text per the instructions on Step 3 of the POD process and include the list of words/phrases on the Index page in the book text.


If you want Angela to create your TOC, **DON'T CODE ANY OF YOUR BOOK TEXT TO HEADING 1, HEADING 2, HEADING 3, etc.** She will need those items for the Table of Contents.

If you want to create your own TOC, it's actually quite simple. But, you must use MSWord's automated TOC function. We can't work with Tables of Contents that have page numbers typed in manually because the page numbers of items change so frequently during formatting and pdf conversion.

The primary items you want to appear in your TOC, such as chapter headings, should be coded to Heading 1. If you want secondary items to appear under each primary item in the TOC, code those to Heading 2. If you want even more items to appear under the secondary items, code those to Heading 3, and so on.

    Heading 1 items will be left justified like this.
      Heading 2 items will be indented slightly like this.
        And Heading 3 items will be even more indented like this.


    Part I: Toilet Training Your Cat (this would be Heading 1)
      Chapter 1: Preparing Kitty (this would be Heading 2)
        Explaining the Change to Kitty (this would be Heading 3)
        Moving the Litter Box (Heading 3)
      Chapter 2: Rewarding Kitty (Heading 2)
        Healthy Kitty Treats (Heading 3)
    Part II: Oops! Accidents Happen! (Heading 1)
      Chapter 3: Positive Reinforcement Works Best (Heading 2) Chapter 4: When Kitty Falls In (Heading 2)
        Sanitary Concerns (Heading 3)
    Part III: Parlor Tricks! (Heading 1)
      Chapter 4: Teaching Kitty to Flush on Demand (Heading 2)
        When Kitty Doesn't Want to Perform (Heading 3)

Don't get carried away. If your TOC is too vast, readers will get a headache and won't bother looking at it. The TOC should be a quick and easy reference for readers, no a hard-to-navigate, entire new chapter of your book. Keep it as simple as possible. The text you want to appear in your TOC absolutely MUST appear in the book text for the automated TOC function to work. If words aren't in your book, MSWord won't be able to find them, of course.

Creating a TOC in MSWord:

1. Code the items in your book text to the appropriate Heading #.

2. Type Table of Contents (or Contents) at the top of the page where you want the TOC to appear.

Click the enter button a couple of times to space down.

3. Then click:

Insert > Index and Table

Choose the Table of Contents tab If you're only using Heading 1 in your book (only primary items in the TOC), Change the "Show Levels" option to 1. If you're using Heading 1 AND Heading 2, change that box to 2, etc.

Click Okay and voila! MSWord will suck all the the book text you've coded to those items into the TOC page.

Later, you can just right-click on that page and the page numbers will be updated automatically.

If a bunch of text pops up in your TOC that you don't want there, this means you've incorrectly coded some of your book text to Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. Change the style of those to something else (like Normal) so they won't keep popping up in your TOC. If you must cheat (too much is popping up) you can manually delete specific lines from your TOC. But, if you need to rebuild it later completely (instead of just updating the page numbers), all those items will once again be sucked into the TOC and you'll have to again delete them line-by-line. It's best to just have them all coded correctly in the beginning.

Back to Step 3 - Submitting Your Book



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