How To Create ‘Table Of Contents’ In A Word Document For Smashwords Publication

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Table of contents not only gives your reader an idea about the length and content of the book, it also helps them easily navigate through the book as they wish. Table of contents is placed usually after the Title/copyright page. In this article we’re going to discuss the methods that can be used to make a table of contents.
There are two methods of creating a good Table of contents.

Hyperlink/bookmark method

  • First of all you need all the chapter names and any other component (like Author bio) that needs to be present in the Table of contents to be bookmarked. To do so you can select one of the chapter titles (or other table of contents items). Go to the INSERT tab, and click on Bookmark. Add the bookmark name, preferably same as the title (withoutspacelikethis) or numbered appropriately, so that it’s easy for you to recognize later. Click on “Add” button and you’re good to go.
  • Next you need to type out the entire table of contents (do not add the links yet). You can make the table of contents either left-justified or centered. Do not use the heading styles for the titles. You can use either normal, or a customized setting based on normal. For example:
    Table of contents
    1. Chapter one
    2. Chapter two
    3. Chapter three
    4. About the Author
    5. More books from the Author
  • Now, it’s time to actually link the titles to their bookmarks. Select an individual title, for example “1. Chapter one.” GO to Insert tab and click on Hyperlink. Hit the bookmark option. There will be two options in the section –Headings and Bookmarks. DO NOT use the headings bookmarks, instead choose the bookmarks created in previous steps. Hit “ok.” Similarly, add hyperlinks to all the titles in the Table of contents.
  • Your table of contents (which is Smashwords’ Meatgrinder friendly) is ready.

Starting chapter names with word “CHAPTER”

You may alternately avoid all the hassles of creating a table of contents and name all your chapters starting with the word “Chapter.” Smashwords’ Autogrinder will recognize the word chapter as the title and generate the table of contents based on that. This method is accepted, but still it gives you lesser control, for example, to create the title “About the Author” in table of contents adding “Chapter: About the author” would look too odd. Hence, it is recommended to use the first method.

Alternately, if you do not follow any of the method above to create a Table of contents, Meatgrinder would place a basic table of contents with Two-items one linking to the starting of your book, and other to the mid-point.

Points to remember:

1. Do not use heading in the Table of contents items.
2. Do not link the items in Table of contents using headings.
3. For advanced bookmarking within the content for example for footnotes, endnotes etc. read the Smashwords’ Style guide.