Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro.

Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2016)


If you have a document that contains a table of contents (TOC), and you update the fields in the entire document, Word asks if you want to update the entire table or just the page numbers in the table. This occurs because TOCs are implemented through the use of a field, and when you update all fields you are telling Word you also want to update the field underlying the TOC.

You can update a TOC using a macro by utilizing the TablesOfContents collection. Each item in the collection represents a single TOC in the document. (In most documents the collection will consist of only a single item.) To update the entire TOC, you use this format of the command:


The Update method is what does the work; it updates the TOC. If you want to update only the page numbers in the TOC, you use an entirely different method:


Whenever you use commands like these in a macro, it is a good idea to make sure that there is actually a TOC in the document before you try to do any updating. The easiest way to do this is to just check the Count property for the collection, as shown here:

If ActiveDocument.TablesOfContents.Count = 1 Then _ 

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (301) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2016-09-27 08:13:10


Thanks for this, especially the one that checks if there is a TOC; works like a charm!

2016-09-16 10:46:46

John Gutwirth

Works fine thanks!

2016-06-24 11:16:05


This does not update the TOC table for Appendices. This is what I need. Any ideas?

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