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Creating a Simple TOC

Word is currently a "well connected" program, meaning that it handles—many times automatically—hyperlinks and other accouterments of our connected computing society. It didn't always used to be that way. In fact, Web-related features were added to Word incrementally, over a number of versions.

One manifestation of this was a change made to how Word created tables of contents (TOCs) beginning with Word 2000. Beginning with that version, whenever you added a TOC, Word established hyperlinks for each TOC entry, so that when you click on them, you jump directly to the corresponding head in the document.

What if you don't want hyperlinks in your TOC, however? Unfortunately, there is no check box or configuration setting you can use to turn off this behavior. Instead, you must follow these steps to get rid of the hyperlinks:

  1. Position your insertion point somewhere within your TOC.
  2. Press Shift+F9. The TOC disappears and the underlying field code is displayed in its stead. The field code should look something like the following. (The actual appearance of the field code will differ, based on how you asked the TOC to be constructed.)
  3.      { TOC \o "1-3" \n \h \z }
  4. Remove the \h switch. This is the switch that causes Word to treat the TOC entries as hyperlinks.
  5. Press F9. Word displays the Update Table of Contents dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Update Entire Table radio button is selected.
  7. Click on OK.

You should note that you will need to follow these steps each time you use Word to insert your TOC. In other words, you will need to do it whenever you choose Index and Tables from the Insert menu to add or update your TOC. If you are only updating the TOC, then Word remembers your changes and won't reapply the hyperlinks.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (546) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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Comments for this tip:

Curt    27 Jul 2015, 20:46
I think you mean Alt-F9, in step 2, not Shift-F9? Shift-F9 only displays the field code for the line where I place my insertion point.
awyatt    20 Dec 2014, 18:34
George, see here:


George Arnold    20 Dec 2014, 11:20
Do you have a WordTips eBook comprehensively addressing Tables of Contents. Your Comprehensive List of WordTips CD was no help in locating this eBook, if it exists. Your site and your search results were not helpful either.
csr    04 Aug 2012, 06:56
The simplicity of TOC in the Word tip is useful but the ability of Word (2003) to deal with hyperlinks is also useful
For example in the creation of a Manual with many elements (Chapters) combined together if bookmarks have been used (e.g. by using heading styles) such bookmarks will also appear in the TOC. If the content has hyperlinks to other elements (documents) or to other elements in within the same document, such can usefully appear in the TOC
Another thought is that if the document needs to be converted to PDF such bookmarks and TOC will be maintained

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