How to create table of contents columns in LibreOffice Writer

How to create table of contents columns in LibreOffice Writer

A columned table of contents in an ebook, print book, or even a high school writing assignment gives a nice visual appeal to the opening sections of the document. You are also able to play around with the various styling options and help to make your table of contents page stand out from among the typical table of contents.

To create a columned table of contents in LibreOffice Writer this is what you do;

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.

Once you are in your document you are going to want to have the table of contents page be on its own separate page somewhere in the opening sections of your document. (Preferably after the title page and before the actual contents of the document itself.) You can do this by separating each section of your document by page breaks. Immediately before and immediately after each page.

It is also up to you if you wish to have your table of contents page be included in the actual table of contents listing or not. If you do then create a title such as “Table of Contents” center it or left justify it, and give it a paragraph style of usually “Heading 1.” For ebooks I like to left justify my table of contents and for print books I prefer to center it horizontally.

In this tutorial we will assume that you want to have your table of contents page be in the actual table of contents listing.

So once you have title and styled your table of contents blank page then from the menu bar;

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

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

Underneath the “Type and Title” is a “Title” text box. Remove all of the default text since you already title your table of contents on the page itself.

4. Uncheck the “Protect against manual changes” check box.

You do this so you are able to easily modify your table of contents in the future.

If you have multiple content contributors then you may want to keep that check box checked to help prevent unwanted changes to the table of contents page.

5. Select the “Columns” tab.

Here is where the fun begins. In this section you are able to choose the amount of columns that you wish to display on your table of contents page. You are also able to change the “width and spacing” and style the separator line by size, position, and color.

6. Underneath the “Settings” area choose however many columns you would like to appear on your table of contents page.

I personally prefer a two column layout with each of the columns being of equal size. I also prefer no separator line unless I have a three+ columned layout.

Once you are satisfied with the settings;

7. Select “OK”

You now have a columned table of contents in your LibreOffice Writer document.

Some things to take note of are;

– Each of your table of contents listings are linkable. (simply hold the Ctrl key down on your keyboard and select a heading) By not removing the hyperlinks in your table of contents, your ebook readers will greatly appreciate having the ability to easily locate the area of the book they left off at.
– Your table of contents page is in the actual listing itself. (And linkable by default!)
– You are able to give your table of contents even more styling along with the ability to remove the page numbers and the periods “…” since you unchecked the “Protect against manual changes” check box.