How To Add A Table Of Contents To An Ebook – Video Tutorial

How To Add A Table Of Contents To An Ebook

Most self-publishing platforms recommend adding a table of contents (TOC) to an ebook.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has a help page, Create a Table of Contents in Word, which explains that Amazon now insists on ebooks having a TOC and explains how to create one.

However, by using the automatic Microsoft Word function, the formatting it creates is not desirable for an ebook.

Word adds a lot of background code and additional styles that are unnecessary, and these elements are cumbersome to modify.

A far better way to add a TOC to an ebook using Word is to add one manually.

This creates a clean, lightweight TOC, without any background code being added, and can it be done in just a few simple steps.

Watch the video to see how you can add a clean table of contents to your ebook.

TOC Video

8 Steps to add a Table of Contents manually

1. Make sure you style all chapter headings in Word as ‘Heading 1’.

2. Check Word’s document map to ensure all chapter headings are listed.

3. Select ‘Heading 1’ in Word’s Styles Drawer, and ‘Select All’.

4. Use the keyboard ‘Control C’ to copy. This will copy all the chapter headings.

5. Paste into a text editor using ‘Control V’, and then convert to plain text. Then select all and copy.

6. Paste the chapter headings into the ebook document.

7. Select each chapter individually, and add a hyperlink from the document headings.

8. Your clean table of contents is complete.

For more details, you can read our full tutorial on creating a table of contents for any type of book.


More reading: How To Use The Amazon Kindle Create App For Better Ebooks

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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4 thoughts on “How To Add A Table Of Contents To An Ebook – Video Tutorial

  • Avatar for Dale
    December 6, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    How do you make columns for clickable TOC? I have a lot of short chapters and would like to have two columns per page. Thanks.

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      December 6, 2021 at 6:48 pm

      I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that one, Dale. Perhaps it’s possible with Calibre, but I’ve never tried.

  • Avatar for Samuel Mutasa
    July 6, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you. It is clear and helpful

  • Avatar for patriciaruthsusan
    April 7, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for this thorough advice. I appreciate it. :) — Suzanne Joshi

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