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How to add a Table of Authorities to Microsoft Word

A Table of Authorities is a section of a legal brief that includes an index of cases, statutes, and secondary sources cited. It is typically required for lawsuit briefs.

Below is a simple step-by-step process of creating this table in Word.

1.    Click on references at the top of your screen.

 Here, click on mark citation. You can also use an alt shift as a shortcut to bring up the following window.

You might also want to think about how you want your table of authorities will look in terms of categories. For example, do you want to have a category called cases and have all your cases under there, or do you want to break it further?

In this example, we are going to break it further. We are going to have Federal cases and the United States Supreme Court cases under the categories. These do not already exist, so we have to create them ourselves.

2.    Select categories

You will see a list of those categories that are pre-defined by Word. Select the category of your choice and select the available number.

3.    Type in your category

Then click replace. Two more categories have been added and are available on the left.

4.    Begin marking your citations

Highlight the complete citation and click the empty box with ‘selected text.’

NB: You have to remove the pin cite, or it will mess up your table of authorities.

Next, you assign it the appropriate category which you created and click ‘mark.’

When you go back to your citation, it has added additional text. This is a hidden text created by Word when it marks a citation. This is to show you what you have and have not marked. You can toggle this on and off by clicking on the hidden paragraph symbol marker. It appears as a shortcut and hides all the hidden characters.

NB: If you see your page numbers increasing, this is normal if your hidden paragraph symbol is on.

You can repeat this process for all your citations.

Once you are done, you can now insert your table of authorities.

Click ‘Insert Table of Authorities.’

A dialog box will appear.

Under categories, ensure that you have ‘All’ selected.

Under ‘Modify,’ you can choose how you want your table of authorities will appear, such as font, font size, spacing.

Once you are done, click ‘OK.

You will have your well-formatted Table of Authorities.

If you are done and realise you missed a citation, this Table of Authorities will not be updated automatically. You have to do it manually.

Go to the case that you missed and repeat the same process. Once you are done, go to your Table of Authorities and highlight the category it belongs to. Then you can click on ‘Update table’ on your top right. A new citation will be added.

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Once all the necessary edits have been made, you can save the final version containing all the modifications with one click.

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