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: Problems with TOC Styles.

Problems with TOC Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 17, 2011)

6

Word allows you to quickly and easily create a table of contents, based upon the headings in your document. Exactly how you do this has been covered in other issues of WordTips, but suffice it to say that you can generate a TOC based upon any headings that are formatted using Word's built-in heading styles—Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. (You can specify differently named styles to be used when generating the TOC, but that is beyond the scope of this tip.)

When the TOC is generated, the styles applied to the TOC entries are TOC 1, TOC 2, etc. There is typically a direct correspondence between the TOC style name and the heading style name. Thus, TOC 1 is used to format the TOC entry generated from a Heading 1 paragraph. Likewise, TOC 2 is used to format a TOC entry generated from a Heading 2 paragraph, and so on.

The bottom line is that if you want to change the way your TOC looks, all you need to do is define the attributes that make up the TOC styles (TOC 1, TOC 2, etc.). There is one very, very large caveat to this general statement, however: If you have applied explicit formatting to your headings, then your TOC will not look as you expect it to.

For instance, let's say that you define the TOC 1 style so it is 14-point Arial in black type. However, you may have used explicit formatting on a Heading 1 paragraph so that it is red, 16-point type. When you generate your TOC, the explicit formatting you applied affects what appears in your actual TOC. The result is that your TOC entry shows up as red, 16-point text, even though the TOC 1 style doesn't call for that. You can change the TOC styles after generating the TOC, but when you later regenerate, the TOC will again appear messed up.

The only solution to this problem is to make sure that none of your headings use explicit formatting; they should rely only on styles. Select each heading in your document and press Ctrl+Q (to return the text to the default paragraph settings for the style) and Ctrl+Space Bar (to return the text to the default font settings for the style). If, after doing this, you don't like the way your headings look, make the changes in the heading styles, not in the headings themselves. Then, when you later generate a TOC, you will get what you want—a TOC that matches the specifications in the TOC styles.

A similar problem often occurs in the course of developing the headings in a document. Let's say that you add a few headings, and you put them in all caps. (After all, you decided up front that you want your headings in all caps.) Then, you discover that you can set the format of the heading styles to be all caps. Now, you can type as you normally would, but Word displays the headings as all caps—just as you want.

When it comes time to create your TOC, Word pulls the text from the headings, and you discover that your TOC entries look terrible. Some Toc Entries Look Like This, OTHERS LIKE THIS, and still others like this. While the headings all appear in upper case within the body of the document, the text within those headings is inconsistent and the inconsistency is apparent when you generate the TOC.

The only way around this problem is to go back and re-enter your headings using the proper case. Normally, this will be what is called Title Case, which means that major words within the heading are capitalized, but other words are not. When the headings are consistently entered, what you see when you generate a TOC will not be a surprise.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1345) 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: Problems with TOC Styles.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Filling a Drawing Object

Want to add some spice to the graphics in your worksheets? There are many colors and effects in Excel that allow you take the ...

Discover More

Permanent Watermarks in a Document

Need to add a graphic watermark to a document? It's not that hard to do, but making the watermark permanent can be a bit more ...

Discover More

Saving Find and Replace Operations

Want to repeat the same Find and Replace operation over and over again? Here are a couple of ways you can improve your ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Paragraph Numbers in a TOC

Word is great at creating a simple, straightforward table of contents. If you want a more non-traditional TOC, however, it ...

Discover More

Specifying a Table of Contents Entry

If you need to create a specialized table of contents, you need to know how to add TOC entries to your document. It's easy to ...

Discover More

TOC Heading Numbers Always Show in Bold

Linda's got a document that includes a table of contents that is based on headings in the document. When the headings include ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 4?

2017-04-30 04:57:41

zmajnoon

Hi. Thank U for your great video. I have a problem: Some how I think I did this wrong and all of my content in the whole file is in the table of content!!! and I can't do anything because when I want to edit even a single word, my file just shut down and stops working. Also when I want to remove table all of my content removes. I'm in deep s**t. Please help me.


2015-09-08 11:36:00

Michael

In case anyone still gets a previous TOC style even after updating the TOC 1-9 to match your intended typeset/font, change the style "Hyperlink" as the Table of Contents is essentially a hyperlink to each individual chapter.

After changing the "Hyperlink" style, update the entire TOC and it should reflect the new style.


2015-02-19 15:52:34

Rozana

Select 'INTRODUCTION'...TEHN RIGHT CLICK..'FONT' CHECK OFF 'ALL CAPS'
This should work ..

good luck


2014-07-23 12:02:37

Charles Rodriguez

If you have mixed cases in the Heading Styles, you don't have to retype. In the Styles Window, click on the drop-down for the Heading style (i.e. Heading 1) and then click on Select All (Instances). Then click on the Change Case button (Aa) on the Home ribbon.
The only issue would be if you choose Title Case, words like "And" and "Or" will also be capped and that's not always wanted. Manual editing is the only solution for that.


2014-06-01 01:00:14

Pradip

The Table of content in Word 2007 is not active, only Table of Figures is active, why? How to resolve it?


2012-11-19 18:36:47

Veronica

Some authors prefer ALL CAPS for the headings in the document and in the ToC. I teach users to use Title Case for the headings in the document and to modify the heading style to achieve the ALL CAPS effect.

Issue: The ToC generates in Mixed Case. However, if the author wants the ToC in ALL CAPS and we change the ToC1-ToC9 styles to ALL CAPS, the small roman numerals used for the front matter (ToC, introduction is also in ALL CAPS.

IOW, instead of
Introduction .......i

We get
INTRODUCTION........I


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.