Kindle Publishing: Create Table of Contents MS Word 2003

It's time to let MS Word create our Table of Contents.

(The procedures here are for MS Word 2003 and earlier.  If you are using MS Word 2010, see xx) 

The above screen shot shows my test document with Heading tags applied as we did them in the last lesson.

You will, of course, have applied those tags to your Headings throughout your document.

Choose Insert from MS Word's Menu at the top of the screen.

From the Insert Menu, choose Reference, then Index and Tables, as shown in the screen shot.

From the Index and Tables drop down menu, choose Table of Contents.

In the small selection boxes, choose the number of levels you want in your Table of Contents, and, since the Kindle does not use page numbers, you will probably want to "un-check" the option to add page numbers.

When you are ready to build, click OK.

In just a few seconds, your Table of Contents will appear as shown on the screen shot below.

I've put mine at the top of the document, but you could put yours anywhere you want it.  Just select the spot with your cursor before start the build process.


  1. Hello! I have a question about the TOC. I am following your directions for creating headers for the TOC in MS Word, then create a TOC in MS Word, make bookmarks for the TOC and Beginning, create a MobiPocket Creator HTML file, create the guides for the TOC and Beginning, then I build my kindle book. The problem is, when I click on one of the hyperlinks in the TOC (eg. Chapter 1) I go to that anchor, but the style heading for Chapter 1 (or chapter 2, etc.) changes. It becomes a different style. When I browse through the book rather than use the TOC, the heading style is the one I applied originally. I am not sure why it is doing this. Please help! Thank you!

  2. Hi CatholicFarmGirl,

    That sounds like you are doing everything right, so I can't imagine what is happening.

    I wonder if the Heading is simply "selected" and highlighted, so it just looks different to you.

    Is that possible?


  3. I'm having the same problem as CatholicFarmGirl.

    My heading looks fine when I browse through the kindle book, i.e. centered and bold.

    But when I use the TOC link to jump to that heading, the heading looks different. It is aligned to the left of the page and not bold.

  4. I'm not finding a prc. file to select from when I use mobi. However, it seems to look fine when I upload it to my kindle. Will it look different in the KDP

  5. You say you are having the same problem as CatholicFarmGirl... and I think the answer is the same.

    If you followed the steps exactly, then your book is mostly likely going to be just fine... or as fine as it can get with current technology.

    The Kindle display does look a bit strange at times, as those little ink particles get moved around.

    That may be something that will be improved in future developments of the Kindle, or it may be something we have to live with.

    I don't know about that, but I think most people get used to it and don't even notice it.

  6. Aronald,

    That's puzzling... where did you look for a "prc" file... and... what did you upload?

    I've found that a Kindle format file looks about the same whether on the Kindle or at the KDP.

  7. I created a kindle book. My issue is with the table of contents. I created the kindle ebook from my original file for my book which may have been written in microsoft word. I save the file to a htm file format and changed the html code to format the kindle ebook. I used kindlegen to create the mobi file. My dilemma is that the drop down in the kindle application does not recognize my table of contents. The selection may be grayed out. How can I make my table of contents visible to the kindle application so that owners of the ebook can navigate to the table of contents at will?

  8. Hi yquinn,

    I don't use Kindlegen, so I can't help with it.

    My suggestion would be to go back to your MS Word file, add "Bookmarks" as is explained in an article on this site (just enter "bookmarks" into the Search CJ's Easy As Pie box, just under the photo of the Birds on a Tightrope, then feed your Word file to Mobipocket... and add Guide Items there.

    Use the Search Box again to find "Guide Items".

    It really is quite easy to do... much easier than Kindlegen, from all I've heard about Kindlegen.

    Just scan through the titles and summaries of articles you can see right here on the right side of the screen... choose a place to start and dive in.

    Don't save your Word file to HTML... just format it properly and go straight to Mobipocket.

    Good Luck... and let us hear how it goes.


  9. catholicfarmgirl,

    I too had the same problem. The issue is most likely that your anchor tag is improperly nested within your headline tag. Word will do this and you can't even see what's happening. It can be fixed through the .html code (open in Notebook).

    For each chapter, your bad code will probably look like (ok this comment system won't let me use the proper tags so below the h1 tag = duck and the a name="chapter one" tag = goose):


    You want:


    Else, with the bad code, my best guess is that when you click on the chapter from the table of contents, you land inside the headline tag, and so .html does not recognize the headline as such, and it looks weird (notice that if you page through, normally, to reach the headline it looks fine).

    You might want to try giving this a shot, cheers.

  10. Okay that was a spectacular fail! Looks like the comment screener thinks I'm trying to paste in HTML and zeroed out my instructions. Let me try once more. I'm going to use [] in place of HTML greater than, less than signs. Hopefully this works.

    Right now your bad code is:

    [h1][a name=chapterone] blahblahblah

    You need to get the anchor outside of the headline tag e.g.

    [a name=chapter one][h1] blahblahblah

    Okay, hope that's clear.

  11. How does one extract the created TOC in a word document into a separate toc.html file?

  12. Look for "Create an NCX File"... it's a full "Headline" article, one of several that appear on every page... just under the Banner... the title, CJ's Easy As Pie.

  13. Hi, after you have created the table of contents, are your then able to control the amount of indentation for level.

    I haven't tried this approach for creating a kindle file because I usually create them as EPBUs and then convert them to kindle using Calibre. However, the indentation for each level is way too much so I am looking for a different approach. Thanks.

  14. Hi Nards-barley,

    No, you can't edit the Table of Contents directly... you have to edit the text itself.

    With Kindle files, sometimes people will accidentally use two methods of indents... the Tab key as they are writing the text, then apply a Style that has a built-in indent.

    Is it possible that's what is happening in your case?

  15. Hi CJ,
    You make an interesting suggestion. I use Atlantis Word processor, and all the styles I assign to my headings are created with the paragraph centered option. I generally say "none" to first line indentation for these styles, but sometimes I forget. Maybe I should left align them instead, and see what happens. These books are for my own use, so the Layout doesn't have to be ideal. Thanks!

  16. Just wanted to follow-up with this link that addresses my issue. Apparently there is nothing I can do about it using my approach for creating mobi files:

  17. I have done the TOC at the end of the book. But why I click on the Table of content tab on Kindle Previewer, it always come up as Missing Table of Contents.
    pls help me. What have I done wrong?
    Thank you