This article applies when using Microsoft Word 2010 to make a 3 column table of contents. After making documents with many headings and using a Word, built-in, table of contents, I find it annoying to scroll down to see the entire table. By making a table of contents with each heading limited to twenty-five characters, so each heading is on one line only, 3 times as many headings can be seen in the 3 column table without scrolling.
How to make the table
The basic thing, that could be done, is too put a table of contents between two continuous section breaks and change the columns in the table to three. However, if this was actually done, the table of contents would look “funny”.
The better way, to make the table, is to begin with the Microsoft Word document in the page layout view and show the non-printing characters. Also headings, which have a Heading Style added by using the Styles group under the Home tab, are in the document. And the document has no table of contents inserted.
To start, make 6 blank lines where the table is to be inserted. On the first blank line type “Table of Content” and center it. To center it, highlight the line, and then click on the Align Text Left symbol in the Paragraph group under the Home tab.
After this, select the third originally blank line and insert a continuous section break. To insert the section break, in the Page Setup group under the Page Layout tab, click “Breaks”, and then click “Continuous” below Section Breaks in the menu that has appeared on screen. The section break is placed in the line above the selected line.
Continue by selecting the sixth originally blank line and insert a second continuous section break. Again the section break is placed in the line above the selected line.
Now there are two blank lines between the sections breaks, select both of them.
Then click on Columns in the Page Setup group under the Page Layout tab. After this, click on the word “Three” in the menu list.
The last thing to do is to insert the Table of Contents. To do this click on the References tab and in the Table of Contents group click on Table of Contents to show the drop down menu. In this menu click on the words “insert the Table of Contents”. In the Table of Content dialog box that appears click OK. The 3 column Table of Contents is inserted into the document.
Using the table
To update this table of contents, click anywhere within the table and the headings will be shaded in gray. Right click on a heading, and then on the menu list that appears, click Update Field and the Update Table of Contents box appears. In this box click to select “Update Entire Table” and then click OK.
Only a group of continuous characters selected, starting with the first character in a Microsoft Word paragraph, can appear in the table after they have a heading style applied. So to add a heading, apply a style correctly and update the entire table. And to delete a heading, change the style to normal, which is not a heading style, and update the entire table.