Fix Your Table of Contents in Word – 3 Steps to Check

Need to fix your table of contents in MS Word? These things can be annoying at the best of times. Review below to see if this fixes it.



How to Fix Your Table of Contents

The table of contents in word feature is a great feature if you know what you are doing. If not – it is very frustrating.

You can waste a lot of time trying to fix it if you don’t know how. There are several steps you must take to format it correctly.

Check 1 – Styles

Make sure you have your Styles sorted out. MS Word styles control your document. If you don’t know how to use the styles feature, you need to learn this first. The styles control the table of contents.

Check 2 – Body Text

Make sure you know what style your text is in the body of the document. Some styles look similar so you need to check all styles in the body of your document.

This is easy by opening the styles box.

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Check 3 – Right Click

Right click on your table of contents if it is already inserted in your document and update it. If it isn’t inserted yet then you will have to do that.

You will need to update it every time you make a change to the headings in the body of your document.

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A More Detailed Explanation on how to Fix Word Table of Contents

Fix Word Table of Contents

To correct or update a Table of Contents (TOC) in Microsoft Word, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by locating your existing TOC in the document.
  2. Then, navigate to the “References” tab on the ribbon at the top of the window.
  3. Find and click on the “Table of Contents” button.
  4. From the dropdown menu, select either “Custom Table of Contents” or “Insert Table of Contents,” depending on your needs.
  5. A dialog box will appear, offering options to modify the TOC’s formatting and content.
  6. To update the TOC, ensure the “Update page numbers only” or “Update entire table” option is selected.
  7. Click “OK” to apply the changes.
  8. Word will then automatically update the TOC to reflect any new headings or page numbers in your document.

This straightforward process helps you maintain an accurate and organized Table of Contents in your Word document.


More Things to Look at to Fix the Table of Contents in MS Word

In Microsoft Word, you can create a table of contents (TOC) using various methods, and I’ll provide you with five different ways to create and fix a table of contents. Do this to Fix Word Table of Contents.

Use Word’s Built-in Table of Contents Feature

  • Place your cursor where you want the table of contents to appear.
  • Go to the “References” tab in the Word ribbon.
  • Click on “Table of Contents” and choose a pre-designed style, or select “Custom Table of Contents” to customize it further.
  • Word will generate the table of contents based on the headings in your document. To update it, right-click on the TOC and select “Update Field.”

Manually Create a Table of Contents

  • Create a new page for your table of contents.
  • Manually type out the headings and page numbers.
  • Format the TOC as needed using Word’s formatting tools.

Create a Table of Contents Using Styles

  • Assign consistent heading styles (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2) to your document’s headings using the “Styles” panel on the Home tab.
  • Place your cursor where you want the table of contents.
  • Go to the “References” tab, click on “Table of Contents,” and choose a style. Word will generate a TOC based on your styled headings.

Customize a Table of Contents Field

  • Insert a blank page where you want the table of contents.
  • Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field codes and type { TOC \o “1-3” } where “1-3” specifies the levels of headings to include.
  • Press F9 to update the field and generate the TOC. To update it later, right-click and select “Update Field.”

Use a Third-Party Add-in or Template

  • Explore third-party Word add-ins or templates that offer advanced table of contents features and customization. These can provide more flexibility and formatting options.
  • Remember that you can always adjust the formatting and appearance of your table of contents by modifying the styles applied to it or by customizing the table of contents options in Word.
  • To update the table of contents if your document changes, right-click on it and choose the “Update Field” option.

Need More Help?

Need more help to Fix Word? Use MS Word for Dummies. One of the easiest ways to learn MS Word.

Fix Word Table of Contents
Fix Word Table of Contents

MS Word for Dummies

That should fix it. If it doesn’t work for you – leave a comment.

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