In the last Part, I suggested a method for creating a table of contents in a situation where you are not used to using styles or if you are trying to add a table of contents to someone else's work. This time, let's talk about how styles can make creating a table of contents even easier if you create a document from scratch.
If you're not familiar, the home tab of Word 2010 and 2007 has a section labeled styles:
By selecting a style, you will automatically apply the formatting and paragraph setting associated with that style to the text you have either highlighted or are typing. Moreover, the style labeled "Heading 1" has the outline level set to 1 by default, "Heading 2" is level 2, etc. By modifying the "Heading 1" style to match your personal style for your headings, you can simply type in your heading, select it, and apply the "Heading 1" style. It will then automatically format your heading as well as adjust the style to your preference.
This way, you have all the benefits of uniformity that come from styles, the benefit of making easy global changes in a heading's style, and the construction of a table of contents.
If you're going to be building a document from scratch, I highly recommend using the heading styles to create your table of contents.