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How to add abstract and other headings to Table of Contents in Ms Word

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Add abstract to TOC

Many documents have sections like Abstract, Keywords, Declaration, References, etc that needs to be included in Table of Contents (TOC). Formatting them as heading (Heading 1, 2 …) to include them in TOC automatically generated by Ms Word (click here to know how to make a Table of Content in 1 click) may not be a good idea. This work around may mess up with your heading numbering or limit the formatting options. This blog shows the correct way to add headings like abstract to Table of Content and avoid the above problems/limitations. Click here to go to our YouTube Video for live demonstration.

Steps to add abstract or other heading in TOC

After formatting the heading (say Abstract, Declarations, …) as per your requirement, to add them in TOC, follow these steps

  1. Click on the heading that needs to be included in TOC
  2. In Home Tab’s Style area, click on down arrow for more option as shown below
    more style options
  3. Click “Create a Style”
    create new style
  4. Type “Pre-Heading” or any other name you want for this new style in “Create New Style from Formatting”. Make sure that it doesn’t already exists in your Ms Word and Click OK to create a new style.
    new style naming
  5. With the above heading/text selected, go to References Tab > Add Text and select Level 1.
    Add text in TOC
  6. Go to References > Update Table and Select Update entire table from “Update Table of Contents” window and click OK.
    update TOC
  7. Now the selected heading/text will appear in TOC as below.
    Add abstract in TOC
  8. To add any other heading/text in TOC,
    • Select it and apply Pre-heading style(i.e. style created in Step 4) by navigating to Home> Styles and clicking Pre-heading.
    • Repeat step 5 and 6.

Video demonstration

How to add abstract and other headings in TOC

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