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How to Add Table of Contents in LibreOffice Writer

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This beginner’s guide will help you to add a basic Table of Contents in the Writer document.

Table of Contents is a necessary index for every user when dealing with long documents, book drafts etc. The table of contents is an index which gives users easy access to any location in the document.

In this guide, we will create a simple table of contents (TOC) with three headings and some sub-headings.

Chapter 1
Introduction

Chapter 2
Description
How to create

Chapter 3
Summary

Here’s how you can do it.

Steps to Add Table of Contents in LibreOffice

  • Open the document where you want to add a table of contents. Consider the document below, for example.
Document for TOC
Document for TOC
  • You must add the headings and subheadings with style to make them appear in the table of contents.
  • Select the heading which would be an item in your index content. Then, from the toolbar, select Heading 1.
Apply Heading Style
Apply Heading Style
  • If you are using Tabbed UI (ribbon), you can find the heading options under the Home tab, as shown below.
Heading options in Tabbed bar in LibreOffice
Heading options in Tabbed bar in LibreOffice
  • Repeat the steps for all top-level headings.
  • For the subheading, select the corresponding text and apply style Heading 2.
  • Repeat the steps for all top-level headings.
After Applying Heading Styles
After Applying Heading Styles
  • Once you have applied all the heading styles, put the cursor at the beginning of the document to create a table of contents.
  • From the menu, select Insert > Table of contents and Index > Table of contents, Index or Bibliography.
  • If you are using Tabbed UI (Ribbon), you can find it under “References” tab (See below).
Table of Contents from Menu
Table of Contents from Menu
Table of contents in Tabbed UI (Ribbon)
Table of contents in Tabbed UI (Ribbon)
  • In the next window, Press OK.
  • You can now see the table of contents added at the beginning of your document. You can CTRL+Click to follow the sections/headings from the table of contents.
Applied TOC
Applied TOC
  • This is how you can add a basic table of contents.

Numbered List in the Table of Contents

It is often wise to add a numbered list to the table of contents to properly explain the hierarchy. For example –

1. Chapter 1
1.1 Introduction

2. Chapter 2
2.1 Description
2.2 How to create

3. Chapter 3
3.1 Summary

This is how you can do it.

  • Select the texts where you have added Headings. From the toolbar, select Numbered Lists. Choose your favourite numbered list.
Table of contents with Numbered List
Table of contents with Numbered List
  • Now, click on a subheading (having style heading 2) and select Numbered List again from the toolbar. You can see the subheading is labelled with a dot, and a sublist is created.
  • This way, you can keep repeating the steps for all the headings and subheadings.
TOC with Numbered List
TOC with Numbered List

Add New Headings in the Table of Contents

To add new headings, you can just apply the Heading 1 or Heading 2 etc., to any text, and it would appear in the table of contents. If you want the headings to be numbered list, you can still apply the same.

Update or Modify an existing Table of Contents

  • Once new headings are added, to update the table of contents, follow the below steps.
  • Right-click on top of the table of contents and click Update Index.
TOC - Update
TOC – Update
  • The entire table of contents would be updated with the headings from the entire document.
  • If you would like to edit the table of contents, its styles, click on the Edit index in the right-click context menu.
  • To delete the table of contents, click on the Delete Index in the above context menu.

Conclusion

This is the easy way to apply the table of contents in a Writer document. Drop a comment below if this article helped you or if you have any questions.

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7 Comments
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Michael Clift

Thanks heaps, nice and easy. I have been too slack with documentation in the past. You’ve inspired me to be more professional.

David Addis

Totally agree with Michael’s comment. Clearly explained and worked a treat.

martin

Thank you. Have been trying for more than a month to generate a Table of Contents. Using help within “writer” was very miss leading. Finally tried a web search and within 10 minutes had generated ToC.

Tina Moore

I have been trying to create a table of content and all I had to do was read this article and everything became clear. Thank you so much.

Laura Wilson

Thank you for fine tutorial. I want to open up a bit of space before and after that long dotted line that flows from the chapter on left to its page number on right. I’ve found I can put spaces in, so I guess I can do what I’m asking for. But what I really want to know is how to spec the long dotted line itself. What if I’d like to use dashes instead, or diamonds. I can’t find the character definition of that mysterious filler/object. I look forward to your advice.

Emma

Geat tutorial! Was ready to tear my hair out trying to follow the instructions that come with the program when i found this site. All done in less than an hour, including changing the dreary grey background to more cheery sandy shade!
Thank you!

Last edited 10 months ago by Emma