How to add a table of contents in a Word document to help organize and summarize it

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It’s easy to add a table of contents in Microsoft Word to organize your document.

  • You can add a table of contents in Word to make your document look more professional and well-developed.
  • Word allows you to insert a table of contents in the program or through Word for the web.
  • The table of contents is based on heading types so you have to enter or modify headline text using heading types to produce the table.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

A table of contents adds a degree of formality and professionalism to any document, whether it’s a book report or a client proposal.

By organizing your document by its headings and content, you not only allow the person reading it to get a summary of your major points, you also allow people to jump right to the text they want to read.

You can easily add a table of contents in Microsoft Word from the Word desktop app or web client.

How to add a table of contents in Word on the desktop app

1. Note that the table of contents automatically generates based on headlines. When you write headlines, make sure to click on a headline style: Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc. If you already wrote your article, highlight each heading manually in your document and click on the heading types under Styles.

Screenshot of Word desktop app Styles section in toolbar
The table of contents will be generated based on heading font types.

2. Click your cursor where you want to insert the table of contents.

3. In the toolbar at the top of the document, click on the References tab.

4. On the left side of the References toolbar, click on Table of Contents.

5. Click on the automatically generated table of contents type you want.

Screenshot of Word desktop app automatic table of contents styles
On the left, choose a style for your table of contents.

6. The table of contents is now in your document.

How to add a table of contents using the Word for the web

1. Open the document in your OneDrive on Word for the web. If it is not already in there, click on Upload in OneDrive to add your document to your OneDrive.

2. Place your cursor where you want to insert the table of contents.

3. In the toolbar at the top of the document, click the References tab.

4. Click on Table of Contents.

5. In the drop-down, click on Insert Table of Contents. This will function similarly to how it works in Word.

Screenshot of Word on the web "insert table of contents" button
Click on “Insert Table of Contents” and it will generate a table of contents.

6. You can also edit the table of contents by clicking on References and then Table of Contents. This will also allow you to delete the table of contents.

Screenshot of table of contents inserted in Word on the web
Once you’ve added a table of contents, you can edit or delete it by clicking the “Table of Contents” drop-down.

How to remove a table of contents in Word

1. In the Word desktop program, click on the table of contents you want to remove.

2. Click on the Table of Contents submenu in the References tab.

3. Scroll down to and click on Remove Table of Contents.

Screenshot of Word desktop app "remove table of contents" option
Removing a table of contents is easy to do by clicking on the Table of Contents submenu.

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How to create a hanging indent on a Microsoft Word document for a bibliography or works cited page

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Hanging indents are particularly helpful for creating bibliographies in Word.

  • You can create a hanging indent on Word by adjusting the format options of the document.
  • Hanging indents are a paragraph formatting option where the first line is at the margin and subsequent lines are indented.
  • Hanging indents are commonly used in works cited and bibliographies.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Hanging indents (also referred to as second line indents) are a formatting option where the first line of a paragraph is positioned at the margin and subsequent paragraphs are indented.

Hanging indents are commonly used in works cited and bibliographies because they make it easy for readers to see the breaks between citations and quickly scan works cited or bibliographies for author names.

Here’s how to insert a hanging indent on Microsoft Word for Mac, PC, and Word on the web.

How to create a hanging indent on Word for Mac

1. Highlight the paragraph(s) you want to add hanging indents to.

2. In the toolbar at the very top of your screen, click Format, and select Paragraph in the drop-down.

Screenshot of Word on Mac, Format drop-down
Under “Format,” select “Paragraph.”

3. In the Paragraph pop-up window, go to the Indents and Spacing tab.

4. In the Indentation section, click the drop-down next to Special, and select Hanging from the list. Click the up or down arrows next to By to adjust the depth of the indent.

Screenshot of Word on Mac Paragraph pop-up window
In the drop-down next to “Special,” select “Hanging.”

5. Click OK.

How to create a hanging indent on Word for PC or Word for the web

1. Highlight the paragraph(s) you want to add hanging indents to.

2. In the Word ribbon at the top of the screen, click the Home tab.

3. If you’re using Word on a PC, click the arrow icon in the bottom-right corner of the Paragraph section, and in the pop-up window, go to the Indents and Spacing tab.

Screenshot of Word on PC ribbon at top of screen
In Word on a PC, click the small icon in the bottom-right corner of the “Paragraph” section.

If you’re using Word on the web, click the More Options icon of three horizontal dots at the far-right of the ribbon, and select Paragraph Options… in the drop-down.

Screenshot of Word on the Web More Options drop-down menu
In Word on the web, click “Paragraph Options” in the drop-down.

5. In the Indentation section of the Paragraph pop-up window, click the drop-down next to Special, and select Hanging from the list. Click the up or down arrows next to By to adjust the depth of the indent.

Screenshot of Paragraph pop-up window in Word
Next to “Special,” click the drop-down and choose “Hanging.”

6. Click OK.

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How to add a superscript or subscript in Microsoft Word when you need to include a page note or special character

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There are a few different ways to insert superscripts and subscripts in Word for Windows, Mac, and Word Online.

  • You can add a superscript or subscript in Word using the appropriate buttons in the Font section of the Home ribbon.
  • You can also use keyboard shortcuts to format text as a superscript or subscript.
  • You can insert special characters, like the trademark symbol, automatically as a superscript.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You might occasionally need to insert superscripts and subscripts in Microsoft Word, especially if you create academic documents.

A superscript – which is slightly raised above the main line of text – is commonly used to indicate footnotes as well as the trademark symbol. Subscripts are less common, but like superscripts, can be used in science and math and are just as easy to use.

How to insert superscript or subscript in Word for Windows

No matter your reason for adding a superscript or subscript, there are several ways to do it. Use the method you find easiest to remember.

Using the superscript and subscript buttons

1. Select the text you want to format as either a superscript or subscript.

2. In the ribbon, click the Home tab and then click either the Superscript or Subscript button, found in the lower row of the Font section.

Microsoft Word Home tab superscript and subscript buttons
Click the “Superscript” or “Subscript” button in the “Home” ribbon.

Using keyboard shortcuts

1. Select the text you want to format as either a superscript or subscript.

2. To convert it to a superscript, press Ctrl + Shift + + (that’s the Ctrl, Shift, and Plus sign keys). To make a subscript, press Ctrl + = (that’s Ctrl and the equal sign).

Using the Font dialog box

1. Select the text you want to format as either a superscript or subscript.

2. In the ribbon, click the “Home” tab and then open the Font dialog box by clicking the arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Font section.

3. Click the box for either “Superscript” or “Subscript” and click “OK.”

Microsoft Word Font window
The Font dialog box has checkboxes for “Superscript” and “Subscript.”

Using the Symbol box

Use this method when you want to insert a symbol as a superscript or subscript (such as the copyright symbol, for example).

1. Place the cursor where you want the superscript or subscript symbol to appear in your document.

2. At the top of the screen, click the ribbon’s “Insert” tab.

3. In the ribbon, click “Symbol.” In the drop-down, choose “More Symbols…”

Microsoft Word ribbon
Choose “More Symbols” from the “Symbols” tool in the ribbon.

4. In the “Font” drop-down, choose “(normal font).”

5. In the “Subset” drop-down on the right, choose “Superscripts and Subscripts.”

6. Now scroll through the character list and find the symbol you want to insert. When you find the symbol, click it and click “Insert.”

Microsoft Word Insert Symbol
Insert the symbol you want into your document.

How to insert superscript or subscript in Word for Mac

There are several ways to insert superscripts and subscripts in Word on a Mac.

Using the superscript and subscript buttons

1. Select the text you want to format as either a superscript or subscript.

2. In the ribbon, click the “Home” tab and then click either the “Superscript” or “Subscript” button, found in the lower row of the Font section.

Microsoft Word Home ribbon superscript and subscript buttons
Click the “Superscript” or “Subscript” button in the “Home” ribbon.

Using keyboard shortcuts

1. Select the text you want to format as either a superscript or subscript.

2. To convert it to a superscript, press Command + Shift + + (that’s the Command and Shift keys along with the Plus sign key).

3. To convert it to a subscript, press Command + Shift + – (that’s the Command and Shift keys along with the Minus sign key). If you’re using Word 2016, the shortcut is Command + Shift + =.

Using the Symbol box

Use this method when you want to insert a symbol that’s pretty much always printed in superscript, such as a trademark symbol.

1. Place the cursor where you want the superscript or subscript symbol to appear in your document.

2. At the top of the screen, click the ribbon’s “Insert” tab and then click “Symbol.”

3. Now scroll through the character list and find the symbol you want to insert. When you find the symbol, click it and click “Insert.”

How to insert superscript or subscript in Word Online

1. In a Word Online document, select the text you want to appear as a superscript or subscript.

2. At the top of the page, click the “Home” tab in the ribbon and then click the three dots to open the “More Font Options” dialog box.

3. Click either “Superscript” or “Subscript.”

Microsoft Word Online ribbon
You can choose superscript and subscript formatting in Word Online from the “More Font Options” dialog box.

How to undo a superscript or subscript in Word

If you want to revert superscript or subscript text back to normal, just do the following on a PC or Mac:

1. Select the text that’s formatted as superscript or subscript.

2. Press Ctrl + Spacebar.

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How to get a character count in a Microsoft Word document

typing in document
Finding the character count in a Word document is a straightforward process.

  • You can get a character count in a Word document by selecting the “Review” tab and clicking “Word Count.”
  • You can find both the number of characters with spaces and the character count not including spaces.
  • You can add the Word Count dialog box to the Quick Access toolbar so it’s always one click away.
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On occasion, you may need to ensure your document has a particular number of words. Microsoft Word makes it easy to keep track of your word count two different ways – via the status bar at the bottom of the screen and in the Review tab of the ribbon. It’s less common to need the character count, but it’s just as easy to find via the ribbon’s Review tab.

Word tracks many statistics for you: the total number of pages, paragraphs, line, words, and characters. Word distinguishes between the total number of characters in your document with or without including spaces. There might be times when you need to know one or the other, but if you have a need to write a certain number of characters and the requirements don’t specify, you can usually assume it’s the total number of characters including spaces.

How to get a character count in Word with one click

You can add Word Count to Word’s Quick Access toolbar – that’s the row of icons at the top left of the title bar. After you add it, you can click the icon to get a word and character count without first going to the Review tab of the ribbon.

  • In Word for Windows, click the “Review” tab and right-click “Word Count.” Then, in the menu, click “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.”
How to get a character count in Word 2
You can right-click to add the Word Count to the Quick Access Toolbar.

  • In Word for the Mac, click the down-arrow at the right of the Quick Access Toolbar in the Word title bar. Choose “More Commands…” In the Ribbon & Toolbar dialog box, click the Choose Commands From menu and choose “Review.” Scroll to the bottom and click “Word Count…” then click the right arrow to move it to the Customize Quick Access Toolbar list. Click “Save.”
How to get a character count in Word 3
Open the Ribbon & Toolbar dialog box to add Word count to the Quick Access Toolbar on the Mac.

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How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer

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Adding checkboxes in Microsoft Word is a great way to make surveys, tests, and more.

  • You can insert a checkbox in a Word document in 2 ways, depending on how you want it to be used.
  • If you want to print empty checkboxes that people can fill in real life, use Word’s “Home” tab.
  • By enabling Word’s Developer ribbon, you can add functional checkboxes that can be filled on a computer.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

We live in a world of checklists and checkboxes, so it stands to reason you might sometimes want to include checkboxes in documents you create.

There are two different kinds of checkboxes you can create in Microsoft Word: decorative ones for printed documents (that can be checked off in real life with a pen or pencil), and functional checkboxes that users can check with a mouse click if they’re viewing the document on a computer.

How to insert a checkbox in Word for printed documents

1. Position the cursor where you want to place the checkbox in your Word document.

2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, make sure you’re on the “Home” tab and then click the down-arrow beside the Bullets button.

3. In the drop-down menu, click “Define New Bullet.”

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 1
Click the arrow to display the drop-down menu and then choose to define a new bullet.

4. Click “Symbol.”

5. In the Symbol dialog box, find a symbol that looks like a checkbox. There are a number of options to choose from, but here’s a good choice: In the “Font” drop-down, choose “Wingdings 2” and then in the “Character code” field, enter “163.” If you like this option, click “OK.”

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 2
Find a checkbox style you like – many people use character 163 in Wingdings 2, but there are many other similar options.

6. Click “OK” again to close the other open window.

7. The checkbox will now be added to your document.

To add more checkboxes, just use the Bullet button and it’ll be inserted automatically (to get your usual bullet back, click the down-arrow next to the Bullet button and choose the symbol you prefer). In the future, you can choose either the usual bullet or the checkbox from the menu without needing to select it from the “Define New Bullet” dialog box.

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 3
You can get back to the checkbox symbol from the Bullets menu.

How to insert a checkbox in Word for electronic documents

If you want a “clickable” checkbox in electronic documents, you’ll need to enable the Developer ribbon in Options. You’ll only need to do that once, and then you can add a functional checkbox anytime you need it.

1. In the ribbon at the top of Word, click the “File” tab and then click “Options.”

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 4
Open “Word Options” from the “File” tab of the ribbon.

2. In the Word “Options” dialog box, click “Customize Ribbon” in the navigation pane on the left.

3. In the “Customize the Ribbon” section on the right, choose “Main Tabs” from the drop-down menu and then click the checkbox for “Developer” in the list.

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 5
Enable the “Developer” options so it appears as a tab in the ribbon.

4. Click “OK” to close Word Options.

5. In the ribbon, click the new “Developer” tab.

6. In the “Controls” section, click the checkbox icon. You should see it appear in the document. It’s clickable – you can make it appear checked or unchecked by clicking.

How_to_insert_a_checkbox_in_Word 6
You can now add clickable checkboxes to your documents.

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How to remove a section break in Word and reformat the layout of your document

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You can remove section breaks in Word by deleting their special symbols.

In Microsoft Word, you can insert section breaks to divide your document into sections and apply formatting to specific blocks of text. For example, you can have a section with different margin sizes, sections with different headers and footers, and more. Section breaks differ from page breaks, which move the content after a page break to the beginning of the next page.

Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for how to remove a section break in Word on Windows and Mac Office programs. When you delete a section break, the text before and after the break combines into one section, which takes on the formatting of the latter section.

Here’s how to remove section breaks from your Word document.

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How to use Track Changes in Word to effectively collaborate on a document

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Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature makes it easy to collaboratively edit documents.

  • You can use Track Changes in Word to record every edit made in a document, either by yourself or others.
  • Word’s Track Changes feature lets users suggest changes, leave comments, and more.
  • To turn on Track Changes, select it from the “Review” tab.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Track Changes is a feature built into Microsoft Word that keeps track of all the edits made to your document and lets you make comments. When Track Changes is turned on, the edit you make are highlighted, appearing in different colors or styles to separate them from the original text.

This is particularly useful for documents with multiple authors or editors, who can review and approve (or reject) each other’s changes.

How to turn on Track Changes in Microsoft Word

To turn Track Changes on, click on the “Review” tab, then click on the icon above “Track Changes.” To turn Track Changes off, just click this icon again. You can also toggle Track Changes on and off by clicking on the “Track Changes” menu arrow and then clicking “Track Changes” in the list.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _1
Track Changes can be toggled on and off in the “Review” tab.

When Track Changes is on, you can leave changes in the document simply by typing or editing as you would normally. The changes will be formatted differently than the rest of the document, and will contain a mark in the margin to indicate that a change has been made.

For example, if you delete a paragraph with Track Changes on, the paragraph you deleted will remain visible, but will appear in red font with strike-throughs so you don’t confuse it with the remaining text.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _2
Text you’ve edited or deleted will appear in a different color and format than the rest of the document.

How to make and remove Track Changes comments

To make comments in the document without adding to the text, use your mouse to highlight the text you want to comment on, and then click “New Comment” in the “Review” tab. A bubble will appear in the margin of the document, containing your name and a color assigned to you. Once the comment bubble appears, type your comment.

To reply to a comment, just click “Reply” on the comment you want to respond to, and type your response. You can click anywhere outside of the comment bubble when you’re finished.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _3
Each of your comments in the document will be the same color, allowing you to differentiate between your own comments and someone else’s.

There are two ways to remove a comment. Click on the comment you want to remove. If you want to keep the comment in the document for the time being, but want to indicate that it’s already been addressed, click “Resolve” in the comment bubble. The comment will still be visible in the document’s margin, but will now appear grayed out, distinguishing it from other comments.

If you want to remove a comment completely, leaving no trace of it in the document, click on the comment and then click the icon above “Delete” in the “Review” tab. It’s located right next to the “New Comment” icon.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _6
When a comment has been resolved, it’ll appear slightly grayed out.

How to accept or reject changes

After changes have been made to your document, you can either accept or reject the changes. To do this, right-click on the part of the document that’s been changed. In the menu that appears, click on “Accept” if you want to keep the change, or “Reject” if you want to reject it.

The appearance of the section may change depending on your choice, but it will be consistent with the rest of the document once you’re finished working and turn Track Changes off.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _4
You can accept or reject a change by right-clicking on it and choosing the preferred option in the menu that appears.

How to hide all the changes and comments

You can control which changes and comments you see by adjusting the markup options.

In the “Review” tab, next to “Track Changes,” there’s a drop-down menu with four options that show different levels of changes made to the document.

  • “All Markup” will show all changes and comments that have been made since Track Changes was turned on.
  • “Simple Markup” will show a simplified version of changes and commentary, represented by notes in the document’s margins rather than visible formatting.
  • “No Markup” will hide all change markings and comments but retain the changes.
  • “Original” will show the document as it originally appeared before Track Changes was turned on.
Track_changes_in_Word_ _7
The markup options allow you to view all changes, simplified changes, no changes, or the document’s original format.

You can also customize the types of changes you see by clicking on “Show Markup.” This will open a menu with checkmarks next to the various options. If an option is checked, it’ll be included in the markup. To check or uncheck an option, simply click on it.

This allows you to customize which changes are visible to you, including specific users’ comments and the visual appearance of the comment bubbles (or “balloons,” as they’re called in the list).

Track_changes_in_Word_ _8
The “Show Markup” menu lets you customize what changes you see.

How to use the reviewing pane

If you want to review all the changes made to the document in sequence, you can do so using the Reviewing Pane. Next to the Track Changes button, click “Reviewing Pane.” If you want the pane to appear on the side of your screen, click on the “Vertical” option; if you prefer it at the bottom of your screen, click on the “Horizontal” option.

Whichever your preference, the Reviewing Pane will appear, containing all changes and comments made on the document. The total number of changes will also appear at the top of the Reviewing Pane. To close the Reviewing Pane, just click “Reviewing Pane” again.

Track_changes_in_Word_ _9
The Reviewing Pane shows you all of the changes and comments made on the document, so you can scroll through them in sequence.

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How to insert a blank page in Word and keep your document’s formatting intact

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You can add a blank page or a page break in Microsoft Word.

  • You can add a blank page into a Word document by clicking the Blank Page option in the Insert menu.
  • Using this option will keep your Word document’s formatting intact.
  • You can also insert a new page break in a Microsoft Word document to add space between sections.
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Microsoft Word allows you to insert blank pages between existing pages with just a few clicks.

It’s a helpful feature when you’re working on long documents or presentations, because it seamlessly inserts a blank page without disrupting the format of the existing content.

Page breaks are another option for adding space between sections. This formatting tool moves the content after a page break to the beginning of the next page.

If you want to add or insert a new blank page into your existing Word document, here are two ways to do it.

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How to double space in Microsoft Word on different versions of the word processor

Someone typing Word document
There are several ways to double space in both the newer and older versions of Word.

  • You can double space in Word for an entire document or selected paragraphs and increase the amount of space between your lines of text.
  • To double space in newer versions of Word, click on the Design tab and set your Paragraph Spacing to 2.0.
  • In older versions of Word, including Word 2007-2010, you will need to go to the Styles section of the Home tab and in the Formatting menu click Double Space.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Whether you’ve been asked to double space a Word document or prefer to read double space documents, this formatting can be applied to an entire Word document or selected sections with just a few clicks.

Double spacing increases the amount of space between lines of text and can be helpful to a teacher or editor in marking the document or adding comments. Double spacing a Word document will differ depending on which version of Word you have.

Here are the steps for newer versions of Word and for Office 2007-2010.

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