Creating a Table of Contents

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[edit] Introduction

What is more interesting than seeing the structure of a document when one is in the midst of writing it. What is more practical than easily finding, in a document of 100 or 1000 pages, the location of a chapter or a subsection.

It is possible to achieve that very simply with NeoOffice's Writer component, thanks to the Tables of Contents. Their manipulation is extremely simple, contrary to appearances.

It is important to keep in mind the different elements which are involved in order for NeoOffice to create this Table of Contents and keep it up-to-date.

In the first place, it is important to understand that for Writer, a Table of Contents is an index like other indexes. Thus the tools that direct the Table of Contents found in the Index tools.

The secon thing to keep in mind is that Writer doesn't use the terms "Title" or "Sub-title," but refers instead to Chapter and Level. For example, the Outline Numbering... command in the Tools menu is used in creating Tables of Contents and all the heading levels.

[edit] What is Needed to Create a Table of Contents

In order to construct a Table of Contents, Writer must know on what to base the structure of the document, that is to say which titles it is to include in the flow of the document.

As we have seen above, Writer calls these titles chapters.

Here, it is important to understandthat Writer, in itself, is incapable of differentiating between text and title, sub title, sub-sub title, etc. It is by using paragraph styles that we can tell Writer which is which. Without these style sheets, NeoOffice will be incapable of creating a table of contents.

In other words, it is necessary that your titles—those which will be used to create the desired table of contents—are styled correctly. Whether you use your own styles or the existing styles does not matter.

Then, NeoOfice needs to know where to place this table of contents.

Finally, NeoOffice needs to know what form to give it (what title levels to include, style of the text, columns, etc.)

We will discuss each of these tasks below.

[edit] Manipulating a Table of Contents

[edit] Default Styles for a Table of Contents

By default, Writer uses the pargraph styles "Heading 1," "Heading 2," through "Heading 10" to construct a table of contents. You can see this by going to the Tools menu and choosing Outline Numbering.... If it is not already active, click on the Numbering tab. In the column on the right is a list of the 10 styles that are available for reference.

These ten styles correspond to levels: Style 1=Level 1= e.g. Country
Style 2=Level 2= e.g. Cities
Style 3=Level 3= e.g. Streets
Style 4=Level 4= e.g. Building/Street Address

They would appear in the table of contents as follows:

•United Kingdom (level 1)
   ••London (level 2)
      •••Bridge Street
         ••••1. Cafe Nero, 1-2 Bridge Street (level 4)
         ••••3. Boots, 11 Bridge Street
      •••Downing Street (level 3)
   ••Cambridge(level 2)
   ••Oxford  (level 2)
      •••Mansfield Road (level 3)
       •••Don Valley Parkway
•United States

[edit] Personalized Styles

While you can use the default styles to specify the titles which are to be included in the table of contents, you can use any paragraph styles:

  1. Create a paragraph style, but do not define bullets or numbering in the Paragraph Styles window.
  2. Under the Tools menu, chose Outline Number....
  3. Click on the Numbering tab
  4. choose the level you want the style applied to
  5. Choose the style you want applied to this level in the Paragraph Style drop down menu
  6. —> Writer will add this style to the right hand column
  7. You can can choose the type of numbering for this level of title from the Number drop down
  8. You can also define the character style to use, the character (point, caret, etc.) that will appear between the number (or letter) and your titles, etc.
  9. —> Writer reflects the changes you make in the right column, which shows you how the table of contents will be formatted.
  10. Repeat these steps to define all the needed paragraph styles.

To save time, create all of the needed paragraph styles for your headings and then open the Outline Numbering... window to define the table of contents.

Note: When defining paragaph styles for headings, remember to set the Numbering Style (In the Numbering tab of the Format Paragraph window) to "None." Numbering must be set in the Outline Numbering... window to define the table of contents. Do not set numbering or bullets with the the Bullets and Numbering sub-menu found in the Format menu.

Note as well that due to a known bug, you cannot save Outline numbering styles by clicking on the Format button and choosing Save. To save outline and chapter styles, you must use a Template.

[edit] Identifying the headings of the Table of Contents

Construct your document using these paragraph styles (either the default ones or those which you have defined), or apply these styles to your existing document.

Once you have done this, you are ready to construct the table of contents.

[edit] Positioning the Table of Contents

  1. Place the cursor where you want the table of contents to appear.
  2. Under the Insert menu, choose Indexes and Tables and then Indexes and Tables...
  3. -> Writer opens the Insert Index/Table window

Note: Writer considers the table of contents, like the bibiliography, to be an index.

[edit] Creation of the Table of Contents

  1. In the Insert Index/Table window (see above), choose the Index/Table tab
  2. Choose Table of Contents in the "Type" drop-down menu
  3. You may give the table of contents a name in the first input field
  4. You can "protect" the table of contents from manual editing by checking the Protected against manual changes. This is usually a good idea.
  5. If it is a general table of contents, that is to say covering the whole document, choose Entire Document in the section {{section|Create Index/Table}]
  6. In this same section, choose the level of inclusion. Even if you use ten heading levels in your document, you can choose to only include (evaluate) a certain number of levels in the Table of Contents. (For example, enter "1" if you only want to include chapter headings)
  7. In the Create from section, only check the Outline box
  8. Click on OK
  9. —>NeoOffice inserts a table of contents for your document at the cursor.

[edit] Updating a Table of Contents

There are two methods of updating a Table of Contents, one of which is analogous to the one used for creating a Table of Contents, and the other by working directly in the text.

[edit] Updating Using The Insert Index Window

This procedure is the same as that for creating a Table of Contents, and it is useful if you want to modify the structure of the table, for example, if you want to change the number of heading levels. (Attention, this is only possible if you have placed the cursor in the text of the Table of Contents)

  1. Place you cursor in the text of the Table of Contents you want to edit
  2. Open the Insert Indexes and Tables window (Click on the Insert menu, then Index then Indexes and Tables...
  3. Optional: Modify certain settings if necessary,
  4. Click OK
  5. -> NeoOffice will update your Table of contents.


  1. Right click or Ctrl-Click in any part of the table.
  2. In the contextual menu that appears, choose the Edit Index
  3. The Insert Index window opens
  4. Make the modifications you want
  5. Click on OK

-> In this case, NeoOffice updates your Table of Contents.

Note: if you work with a master document, it is also possible to update your Table of Contents by positioning the mouse pointer over this icon Image:BNavUpdate.png of the master document Navigator and choosing all.

[edit] Updating directly in the text

If you don't need to change the Table of Contents structure, i.e. you don't need to change the number of levels displayed in the Table of Contents, it is possible to update it by right-clicking (or ctrl-click) within the Table of Contents and then choose Update Index/table

[edit] Creating Hyperlinks in the Table of Contents

The different levels of a Table of Contents can be transformed into hyperlinks, making it possible to go to the corresponding headings with a simple click. To do so:

  • Right click (or Ctrl-click) in the Table of Contents and choose Edit Index/Table.
  • Click on the tab Entries.
  • In the Level section choose the level you want to become a hyperlink.
  • In the Structure section, click on the empty box in front of the E then click on the Hyperlink. A {{button|LS]] button appears in the box.
  • click in the empty box that follows the E, then on the Hyperlink. A LE button appears in the box. In this case, only the title will be clickable. If you want the page number to also be clickable, you must put the LE button in the box which follows the # button.

N.B. If you click on the All the same format is applied to all the levels of the table, which is not always desirable. It is sometimes better to repeat this process for each level separately.

  • Click on OK.

Unfortunately, if you are not satisfied with these hyperlinks, the only way to eleminate them is to delete the entire table.

N.B. If the document is correctly formatted and if the headings are well orgzniaed, you can also use the Navigator window to move around in the document. Click on the triangle to the left of the Headings icon and couble click on the desired title.

[edit] Deleting the Table of Contents

Right-click or Ctrl-click in the text of the table of contents and choose Delete Index/Table.

Note that the destruction of a table of contents does not result in the destruction of the related paragraph styles nor the titles of your document.

[edit] Appearance of the Table of Contents

Titles shown on the Table of Contents can have a different ook different from that of the heading titles in the document. The index title linked to heading level 1 has a paragraph style called Index 1, the index title linked to heading level 2 has a paragraph style called Index 2, etc. So if you want to change the typographic style of the Table of Contents you can do so in the same manner as changing paragraph styles.

You can modify the backgound of the table. The default option is not very Mac-like. To do so:

  • Right click or Ctrl-click in the textes of the table
  • Choose the Edit Index/Table option
  • In the window that opens, click on the Background tab and choose a background you like.
  • Click on OK

[edit] Related Trinity Links

Problems with Chapter Numbering

[edit] Related External Links

ToCs, Indexes and Bibliographies in OOo Writer by Bruce Byfield

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