Click-able tables of contents for e-books

It's hard to see from this photo, but the progress bar for this book doesn't show any sections. Creating a table of contents using headers could change that.

It’s hard to see from this photo, but the progress bar for this book doesn’t show any sections. Creating a table of contents using headers could change that.

On Saturday I attended a meeting on formatting self-published books. While we worked mostly with Amazon’s CreateSpace, I learned some very valuable tidbits for creating an e-book, as well.

The best piece of information I received was how to make a table of contents that links to your chapter headings. When I upload the new cover for The Night Ones Legacy, this is one of the changes I’ll be making to the text (along with cleaning up some typos).

So just in case you’re interested, here’s what I learned about making a table of contents:

  1. Open your  manuscript in Microsoft Word. 
  2. As you scroll down through your manuscript, center and highlight your chapter headings (I did this one at a time).
  3. With the chapter heading highlighted and the ‘home’ tab open in Microsoft Word, hit ‘heading one,’ kind of on the right side and above the open document.
  4. Right click on the ‘heading one’ area. A small menu pops up. Click ‘Update heading one to match selection.’
  5. Repeat until all your chapter headings are highlighted.
  6. Go back to the beginning of the book. Now is the fun part–adding a Table of  Contents between the first pages (title page, dedication, acknowledgements, etc.) and your first chapter.
  7. Open the ‘References’ tab in Microsoft Word.
  8. The Table of Contents icon is on the far left. Click it. Then choose the style you want and click on that.

If I’ve remembered everything and explained it correctly, your table of contents will be created with each individual chapter showing up as a separate, click-able section. This means that someone heading to your Table of Contents in a Kindle version or other e-book version will be able to click on and move directly to the chapter they want.

I love learning. When it applies to other things I love, such as writing, I like it even more.

Deep thanks to author Roseanne Wilkins for hosting this workshop.


6 Comments to “Click-able tables of contents for e-books”

  1. That’s a neat trick. I’m still unsure about using a table of contents for myself because I only have numbers. It feels strange to me and it didn’t look right when I tried it at the beginning. Is it a necessary thing?


  2. I’ve always wondered how to do this, thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: