How to Create a Clickable Custom Table of Contents in Microsoft Word or PDF

table of contents

Table of Contents is the essence of a document. In print media it usually contains chapter headings and corresponding page numbers for easy navigation. E-books are on the rising. On E-books also there appears table of contents. But there is some difference. Can you differentiate the table of contents in print media and digital media. On the latter, instead of page numbers there appears clickable links. Click any content on the table of contents may take the reader to the corresponding page. Here we can learn how to create a custom, clickable table of contents in Microsoft Word 2007. This idea you can apply to other versions of Word too.

Creating Table of Contents in PDF is easy. Once you have created the document with clickable table of contents, you can save it as to PDF which retains the clickable links.

Steps to Create a Custom Table of Contents with Links

example to clickable table of contents

First see the screenshot above. You can see first two pages of a word document. The first page is an example to custom table of contents. Here we will link the “Chapater 1: How to Create ….” with the corresponding title on page 2. To do that-

Go to page 2 and select the title. Here “Chapter 1: How to Create Table of Contents”. Copy this.

Go to “Insert” menu and click “Bookmarks”. It opens the “Bookmark” dialogue box. Paste the copied content to the filed under “Bookmark name:” This field does not accept spaces. So remove the space and instead put the underscore. Click “Add”

Now go to the first page that is your custom table of contents where you want to insert internal clickable links aka permalinks.

Select the “Chapter 1: How to Create Table of Contents”. Go to “Insert” menu, you are probably there, and click “Hyperlink”. It will open the “Hyperlink” dialogue box. On this dialogue box, click “Bookmark” button on the right.

permalinks in clickable table of content

It will show your just created bookmark “How_to_…..”. Click it and “OK” to close the “Select Place in Document” box and again “OK” to close the “Hyperlink” dialogue box.

Done! Now whenever you click (Ctrl+Click) the link on the table of contents in the first page, it will take you to the corresponding page, i.e. page 2 here.

Similarly you can add more custom internal links with the help of bookmarks to other titles on your table of content and make it clickable.

Use the “Save as” PDF feature to create a custom table of content with clickable links.

If you face any problem feel free to comment.


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