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Create a Table of Contents in Word

A working table of contents allows your readers to jump directly to the chapter or section they want. This feature is so important to Kindle customers that Amazon requires all Kindle books with chapters or sections to have a working table of contents. You can build one using Microsoft Word (see Microsoft Help pages for more information on creating and formatting Table of Contents).

If you're already familiar with the extra features in Microsoft Word, the Overview might be all you need. If you need more information on how to use Microsoft Word, check out their support page

There's a complete step-by-step procedure below the Overview.

Overview

  1. Make sure each of your books or chapters already has a header name or a number.
    • To do this, use the Styles feature to apply a style to each chapter or section heading.
    • In most cases, the end result will be best if you apply the same Style to all of your headings.
    • In step 3, Word will build the table of contents by detecting these styles.
  2. Add a blank page before the beginning of your content for your table of contents.
    • If your book has a copyright page, you should place the blank page after the copyright page but before the rest of your content.
  3. In the References menu, click "Table of Contents."
    • Choose "Custom Table of Contents" option.
    • In the menu, remove the checkmark from "Show Page Numbers" box and change "Show Levels" to "1."
  4. Delete the page numbers and leading dots ("………..123") from your new table of contents.
    • Readers can change the font size, margin size, and line spacing, so page numbers may not apply to Kindle books.
  5. In order to have the NCX view enabled in the Go To Menu of your Kindle Device / application, please ensure that you create a logical Table of Contents per these additional steps:
    • For Title headings to be listed, use "Titles" format under Styles section.
    • For Chapter headings to be listed, use "Chapter" format under Styles section.


Complete steps to create a Table of Contents in Word

  1. Open your book in Microsoft Word
  2. Near the top of the window, click "Home"
  3. Go to your first chapter header, and select it by clicking it with your mouse cursor
  4. At the top of the window, click a formatting style. This applies the style to the chapter header. Word will create the Table of Contents later by finding these styles. You can still change the color and font style of the chapter header as you would any other text in Word. To ensure the NCX view is also enabled, please select the heading styles listed below: 
    • For Title headings to be listed, use "Titles" format under Sytles section.
    • For Chapter headings to be listed, use "Chapter" format under Styles section.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all the remaining chapter headers in your book.
    Important: use the same style for all the chapters in your book, or your Table of Contents may not work correctly
  6. Create a blank page before your book's content where Word will put the Table of Contents
    Note: The Table of Contents should appear before the main content, but after front matter like copyright information or the title page (if used)
  7. At the top of the window, click "References," and click "Table of Contents"
  8. Choose a Table of Contents style that you like from the menu
  9. You should now have a Table of Contents with working links to each chapter in your book
  10. Select the page numbers and leading dots (“……”), right-click them, and click "Cut." Page numbers may not apply to Kindle books, since readers can change the font size, margin size, and line spacing.
  11. Save your Word file, upload it to your KDP account, and publish as you would any other content. It can take up to 12 hours to see your changes on the site.
On a Mac, you'll need to create your Table of Contents manually using the Hyperlink and Bookmark functions.

Tip: Professional formatting and conversion services are available to prepare your book for print and Kindle.

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