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: Locking Lines in a TOC.

Locking Lines in a TOC

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 12, 2012)

Charles described a situation in which his table of contents was working fine, except he wanted to jump to a heading when he pressed Enter with the insertion point at the beginning of the TOC entry that was hyperlinked.

When you automatically create a TOC in Word, the entries in the TOC are actively linked to the headings referenced by the TOC entry. This happens because Word uses the /h option with the TOC field, by default. If you use the mouse to click on a TOC entry, you are automatically taken to the appropriate heading. (In Word 2002 or later versions you must hold down the Ctrl key as you click on the TOC entry, unless you've turned this capability off.)

The interesting thing is that if you position the insertion point anyplace within a TOC entry and press Enter, Word behaves as if you had used the mouse to activate the link, and you are taken to the appropriate heading. Note that the insertion point must be inside the TOC entry, not just to the left of it. If the insertion point is at the beginning (or even at the very end, to the left of the paragraph mark), then pressing Enter will result in a new paragraph being inserted in the middle of the TOC.

This is apparently the way that Word is designed, and there is no way around this. You cannot "turn off" or modify the behavior of the Enter key within a linked TOC. Nor can you "lock" the lines in a TOC so that Enter doesn't insert new paragraphs if the insertion point is outside the actual TOC entry. The only thing you can do is remember to move the insertion point within the TOC entry—even by one character—before pressing Enter.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1764) 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: Locking Lines in a TOC.

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

Understanding the Select Case Structure

One of the powerful programming structures available in VBA is the Select Case structure. This tip explains how you can put ...

Discover More

Moving a Chart's Legend

Need to move a chart legend to a different place on the chart? It's easy to do using the mouse, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Word Freezes when Updating Styles

If you have problems with Word freezing at times, it can be very frustrating. Here are a couple of things you can check out ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Jumping Back to the TOC

Word allows you to create a table of contents that provides hyperlinks to headings within your document. It doesn't make it ...

Discover More

Creating a Simple TOC

Sometimes a table of contents created by Word can have a few too many bells and whistles. Here's how to get rid of the ...

Discover More

Page Ranges in a TOC

It is easy to generate a table of contents for a document, and that TOC can contain page number references for each heading. ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 eight more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.