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Microsoft Word has long had the built-in ability to create a table of
(index, table of figures, and table of authorities are also part
of the feature). This utility, found under the Insert | References menu, works
well if you follow the default Word styles for headings, subheadings, figures,
footnotes, etc.

However, if you use custom styles in your documents, this
automated creation function was very limited or non-existent, depending on how
custom you chose to get. But Word does allow you to substitute your custom
styles for the default styles, reviving the feature for even the most colorful
of custom styles.


Step 1

Before you can use it to create a table of contents, you
first have to create a set of styles. In Word 2003, you can create styles by
clicking the double-A (AA) button on the Formatting toolbar, or by navigating
to the Format | Styles and Formatting menu.

Once you create your new style, for top level headings
(Heading 1) for example, you can highlight that text and click the New Style
button on the Styles and Formatting window, similar to Figure A.

Figure A

Custom style

Step 2

Once you have a set of styles created to your satisfaction,
you can then specify which level (TOC 1, 2, 3 …) each style will represent in
your table of contents. This is accomplished by navigating to Insert |
Reference | Index And Tables and then clicking the Options button on the Table
Of Contents tab. On the ensuing dialog screen, you can then specify your
hierarchy as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

TOC hierarchy

After clicking the OK button a couple of times, you will
have inserted a table of contents for your document. However, you will also
notice that the table is displayed in the default style. If you want to apply
your custom style to the table of contents, you have one more step.

Step 3

Now that you have established a set of custom styles, you
can apply those styles to other parts of the document including the table of
contents. Navigate To Insert | Reference | Index And Tables and click on the
Modify button on the Table Of Contents tab; then click the Modify button
again for each level. On the ensuing dialog screen, you can change the styles
associated for each level in the hierarchy (Figure C).

Figure C

Modify TOC styles

Obviously, the styles shown in the figures are a little
over the top, but the principles are the same no matter what custom styles you
want to implement.

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