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Create a Table of Contents in Word

A working table of contents allows readers to go directly to chapters or sections by clicking links in the table of contents (TOC). This feature is so important to Kindle customers that Amazon requires all Kindle eBooks with chapters or sections to have a working TOC.

Interested in tools that can help you create a working TOC quickly and easily? Check out Kindle Create and Kindle Create Add-in (Beta).

  • Kindle Create is a free standalone application that helps you automatically transform your completed manuscript into a beautifully formatted Kindle eBook. The tool makes creating a working table of contents easy by automatically detecting and styling chapter titles.
  • Kindle Create Add-in is for authors who prefer formatting in Microsoft Word. It provides the styling capabilities of Kindle Create, including the function to automatically create a working TOC for your book. If you want to publish an eBook and a paperback, you can use the same .doc(x) file for both formats when you upload your manuscript to KDP.

Prefer to create a TOC yourself? You can build a working TOC using Microsoft Word (see Microsoft Help pages for more information on creating and formatting TOCs). If you're already familiar with TOC features in Microsoft Word (please note there are multiple versions of Microsoft Word available and some features may change among versions), the Overview might be all you need. If you need more information on how to use Microsoft Word, check out their support page.

TOC Overview for eBooks

  1. From the Home tab in Word, format all chapter titles with the same style
    • Highlight each chapter title and apply a style from the Styles section of the tool bar. We recommend using Headings 1 for sections (or chapter titles if your book isn't divided into sections) and Heading 2 for chapter titles or sub-sections
    • Repeat this step to apply one style to your sections, one style to your sub-sections, one style to your chapter titles....
  2. Add a blank page at the beginning of your content (where the TOC will appear)
    • If your book has a copyright page, insert the blank page between the copyright page and the rest of your book content
    • Keep your cursor at the top of this blank page and switch to the References tab in Word by selecting it from the Word tool bar at the top
  3. From the References tab, create a Table of Contents (Automatic or Custom)
    • Select Table of Contents from the tool bar
    • Select Automatic Table 1 or Custom Table of Contents
    • For Custom
      • Remove the check mark from the Show Page Numbers box
      • Change Show Levels to "1"
      • Make sure the check box "Use hyperlinks instead of page-numbers" is selected
  4. Finalize the TOC format for eBooks
    • Delete the page numbers and leading dots ("....1 2 3")
  5. Apply specific styles for the NCX view to be enabled in the Go To Menu of your Kindle device / application
    • For title headings to be listed, apply the Titles style to your title
    • For chapter titles to be listed, apply the Headings 1 style to all chapter titles

Create a Table of Contents in Word for PC

Create a Table of Contents in Word for Mac

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