How do I create a table of contents when saving a Word document and saving as a PDF file?

That is, when you buy an e-book, it has a nice table of contents in the left pane that remains there while you read, and you can jump around the PDF file.

  • Why did you select the answer that only created a TOC in the word document and not the PDF? Dec 30, 2019 at 4:58

3 Answers 3


Thankfully, Word 2007 and 2010 both make this process pretty easy. Just follow these steps and you'll have a great table of contents all ready to go:

  1. Open your Word document (must be .docx)
  2. Identify the main points you want to appear on your TOC (Table of Contents), and any sub points that you want to be in your TOC.
  3. Highlight the main point(s) with your mouse. You cans select multiple pieces of text by holding down the Control key while selecting text.
  4. Click on the References tab in Word, then find the section labeled Table Of Contents.
  5. Make sure the text that you want to appear in your TOC is highlighted, and then click on the Add Text button.
  6. A drop-down list will appear, and you can choose from four options: Do Not Show in Table of Contents, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3. "Do Not Show in Table of Contents" should be checked by default.
  7. Now click on the Level 1 option. You can also click on the Level 2 and Level 3 options for sub points that you want to appear on your TOC.
  8. After you are done identifying all the titles/points you want to be on your TOC, got to the page where you want your Table of Contents to be generated (typically after the title page).
  9. Then, navigate to the References tab in Word, find the section labeled Table of Contents, and then click on the big Table of Contents button. A drop-down will appear with various pre-made TOC templates that you can readily use.
  10. Click on the template you want to use and a shiny TOC will be generated and placed in the document on the page you selected. You're done!

Tip: Note that the page numbers and text in the new TOC can be updated if you revise the document by selecting the auto-generated Table of Contents and clicking on the "Update table..." button that appears.

Hope this helps you!

  • 2
    I wonder why this answer is accepted because this process does not do what the origianal poster asked. It adds a TOC in a document itself but this TOC does not appear in the left pane.
    – utapyngo
    Oct 24, 2012 at 6:09

Actually what you need to do is the following.

  1. Markup your headings using Word styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.); if you created a Table of Contents in Word, then you have already done this.
  2. Select Save As a pdf and click on the options button.
  3. In the Options pop-up window, under the "Include non-printing information" section,
    check "Create bookmarks using:" and select the option button for "Headings".

Depends on what you want. You may be able to do it using Calibre coding something (is that possible yet?), or using the "heuristics" feature.

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