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How to create a Table of Contents in LibreOffice Writer

How to create a Table of Contents in LibreOffice Writer

The LibreOffice Writer app is a powerful program to create a table of contents especially if your computer has the dreaded Microsoft Word Starter program in which it won’t even have the “References” tab needed to create a table of contents. With LibreOffice Writer, creating a table of contents and everything else is included by default. Plus LibreOffice Writer is much more user friendly even though it has many more features than Microsoft Word.

Creating a table of contents in any document is always a good idea even if your document consists of only a few pages. Whether that be a high school writing assignment or a corporate business manual.

Some of your users may view your document on a mobile device such as a kindle or mobile phone. Not all mobile users will use the same sized mobile device when viewing your document. Screen sizes and resolution displays vary. So your document may have more or less pages depending on a user’s particular mobile device. By creating a linkable table of contents (included with LibreOffice Writer), your readers will thank you and you will thank you.

To create a table of contents in LibreOffice Writer;

1. Launch the LibreOffice desktop application.

2. Open a previously saved file or create a new document using the Writer app on the left tool bar.

You are going to want to have the table of contents and all the other sections and chapter pages be on their own separate page. For the table of contents section that would preferably be somewhere after the title page and somewhere before your actual content. To accomplish this you are going to want to insert a page break immediately before and immediately after the table of contents page itself. (That would be to insert a page break on the last line of the previous page and the last line of the table of contents page.)

To insert a page break you have three options. You can;

– Select “Insert” -> “Page Break” from the menu bar.
– Use the hotkeys “Ctrl + Enter” on your keyboard.
– Select the “Insert Page Break” button located directly below the menu bar in the middle.

Once you are on a blank page, you are going to want to make sure all of your headings are properly labeled. You do this by highlighting the title of each section or chapter and set its paragraph style to (usually “Heading 1”).

You can do this in two ways;

– Highlight the title of the section or chapter and locate the “Set Paragraph Style” drop down arrow on the top left tool bar. And then choose the appropriate paragraph style.
– Select “Styles” from the menu bar and then choose the appropriate paragraph style.

So to set a “Heading 1” paragraph style to a particular section or chapter heading you can also use the hotkeys “Ctrl + 1” for a “Heading 1” style or “Ctrl + 2” for a “Heading 2” style, etc…

You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + 0” if you wish to set a “Text Body” paragraph style.

After each section is on its own separate page (and separated by page breaks) locate the menu bar and;

3. Select “Insert” -> “Table of Contents and Index” -> “Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography…”

The “Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography” window will appear.

From here you are able to give your table of contents a title by editing the “Title” text field. (If you created your own heading for your table of contents page and would like your table of contents page included and linkable in the table of contents itself, then remove the text “Table of Contents” in the “Title” field since you already gave your table of contents its own title).

You are also able to protect your table of contents against manual changes by keeping the “Protected against manual changes” check box checked. Keeping that box check is a great way to help prevent other users of the document from manually editing the table of contents; however, it also prevents you from manually editing the table of contents until you uncheck that check box.

Other useful options include displaying multiple style levels (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc…), multiple columns, and a custom background color.

Once you are satisfied with the options;

4. Select “OK”

That is it. Your document now has its own custom (and linkable by default) table of contents.