Table Of Contents

We all know, how important table of contents and index is, in a document or book, mainly because it saves time and energy to find something out which is really important for our study. Table of Contents is a list of sections and chapters contained in the document, with their relative page numbers.

To fix the Table of Contents, I basically replace it. Yes, there are other ways to modify TOC entries (if you're already comfortable with Styles and are okay with modifying them individually), but I prefer this method because it doesn't involve me searching all over the document for each TOC entry Style and modifying it separately. Another word for table of contents. Find more ways to say table of contents, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at, the world's most trusted free thesaurus.

On the other hand, Index is page found at the back of the book or document, containing a list of the words, with their respective reference to the page, where the reader can find the topic and read the same.

The table of contents helps the readers understand how the document is organized. On the other hand, the index merely helps the reader, where to find a particular topic of interest.

In this content, we are going to discuss the difference between table of contents and index.

Content: Table of Contents Vs Index

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonTable of ContentsIndex
MeaningTable of Contents implies an organized list containing the chapter-wise headings and sub-headings along with page numbers.Index refers to a page which acts as a pointer to find out the keywords and key terms, which the book contains.
PositionBeginning of the documentEnd of the document
Lists outChapters and Section titles arranged as per their page numberTopics Covered along with their page number
ObjectiveTo show the titles included in the document or paper at a quick glance.To find the topics within the main matter of a book or document.
Additional PagesIncluded in the listNot included in the list

Definition of Table of Contents

Table of Contents or otherwise called as Contents is a list of the chapters and section titles that are included in the written work, often placed at the beginning. The chapters and section title often carry a page number from where the chapter or section starts. It may also contain the headings of the sub-chapter or any subsection, indicated with the help of bullets.

Table of Contents acts as an indication of each segment of the document or book. It helps the readers to locate the information of their need easily and quickly. As well as they can also revisit the page without much effort, whenever they want. All they need to do is check the page number and jump directly to the concerned page, to find the information.

At the time of making dissertations, table of contents plays a significant role, as it enables the reader in navigating through and accessing the document. However, it has to be created at the end, so that you include each and everything in the document.

Further, it must contain all the beginning and ending material, along with the main content. Here, beginning and ending material implies the supplementary pages which are contained in the book, such as foreword, preface, abstract, acknowledgement, bibliography, glossary, etc.

Definition of Index

An index can be defined as the alphabetical record of the topics, with reference to the pages on which they can be found. It is basically a guide to the book or document, which helps the reader to find the topic of interest quickly. It can be created electronically, i.e. via the use of computer systems, as well as manually.

In a typical book, at the back, you will find an index, containing the topics with the associated pointers, i.e. the page number or section number. The topics include names of people, places, concepts, etc. chosen by the indexer according to its relevance or priority and interest of a common reader. Figures, tables and charts also make it into the index list, but only when the items form part of the text discussion.

An indexer can be the author or writer of the book, or its editor or any third party, who is a professional indexer.

It is to be noted that each and every word or term is not included in the index list, as it would make the index page unnecessarily long. Hence, only those topics are contained in the list which is important for a possible reader.

The main aim behind indexing is to give the reader an informative and objective picture of what the book contains.


Key Differences Between Table of Contents and Index

Upcoming points will discuss the differences between table of contents and index:

  1. A table of contents is nothing but a systematic itemization of the chapters and sections, often accompanied by a page number, in which they exist. Conversely, an index can be understood as the alphabetically arranged list of keywords (names, places or topics) with their associated page numbers.
  2. Table of Contents includes the title of the first level topics, listing the contents of the document on the basis of their title. Further, the arrangement in the table of contents is in chronological order, whereas in the case of an index, there is an alphabetical arrangement of the words, in the list, so as to ease navigation.
  3. In Table of Contents, the chapters and section titles are arranged as per their page number. Conversely, in an index, the topics covered or keywords are given along with their page number.
  4. While the table of contents is found at the beginning of the book, an index is usually placed at the end of the book or document.
  5. The aim of the table of contents is to show the titles included in the document or paper at a quick glance. In contrast, the index is included in the document/book to help the reader find the topics within the main matter.
  6. One significant difference between the two list pages is that while in a table of contents, you can find a reference to the additional pages along with the main content, such as foreword, preface, bibliography, annexure, appendix, so on and so forth. However, in an index, you will never find a reference to such additional pages, as it covers keywords present in the main content.


So far we have understood how resourceful the two pages are. In the absence of these two, it would be really hard for the readers to go through each page so as to find a specific topic.

With Table of Contents, it is way easier to navigate, as it clearly shows up the page number on which subject matter is explained or discussed. In the same way, an index acts as a map to locate a particular topic in a book

Related Differences

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A table of content is a list of all the parts present in a book; it should be always headed simply as contents or TOC to guide the book user. Additionally, the table of contents should be arranged in a chronological way same as the parts appear inside the book and also include the page numbers.You may also see outline templates.


The table includes the description of the first level items like the titles in longer books and all the subtitles in the same work and most likely the third titles within the same work. Mostly the length of the table of contents relies on the depth of the work; shallow book outline templates usually have a small table of contents while the large books come with longer table of contents. A table of contents also always accompanies formal letters or memos with more than ten pages.

Table of Contents Template Word

A good table of contents template word can help make your data place out to your readers and adding a table in Word is a break. You have a range of options for customize your table’s appear at functionality and you can even select from accessible templates to make insert tables totally painless.You may also see report outline templates.

Table of Contents Example

Table of contents is the parts of list for certain document. It is arranged based on where the parts come into view. The depth of example of a table of contents differ based on the length of the manuscript, longer documents have less detail. Documents fewer than 10 pages long frequently does not need a table of contents but then can frequently have a short list of contents at the begin.You may also see presentation outline templates.

Table of Contents Template for mac

Inserting a table of contents for your document can really be pretty simple, as long as you include the appropriate formatting in your documents. Once the arrangement is set-up, insert a table of contents into your Word for Mac 2011 documents get just a few clicks. You can build your table of contents 2 different ways. The most general way is to apply styles such as Heading 1, 2, 3, and 4.You may also see formal outline templates.

Table Contents Layout

A table of contents layout (TOC) is a point at the starting of a document that informs the reader where to get sections in a document. The table of contents layout section headings and their related page numbers. A TOC is base on the section or part titles, whereas a catalog that appears at the ending of a document uses keywords to place information.You may also see speech outlines.

Free Table of Contents Template

Writing a table of contents must not be a difficult task for you as there are pre-built table of content template that are available for free download. To make an excellent table of contents you may think launch your task by downloading a section free table of content pattern that should serve up as a guide in showing the explain of your book.You may also see paper outline templates.

Sample Table of Contents Template

Writing a table of contents should not be a hard task for you as there are prebuilt table of content template word and table of content template excel already available for free download. To make a good table of contents you may consider beginning your task by downloading a sample free table of content template, which should serve as a guide in showing the layout of your book.You may also see research paper outlines

Word Table of Contents Template

Table of Contents Template Word 2010

Table of Contents Template word 2007

The table of contents appears immediately after the title page or the title of the book, copyright notices, and in some works after the abstract statements. As the table of contents shows the page numbers, some digital works may offer links to the contents within the book to make the reading or research work easier for you.You may also see essay outlines.

Table Of Contents Apa

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Table Of Contents Example

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