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: Insert a TOC without Upsetting Pagination.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2020)
When you insert a table of contents in any version of Word, the table becomes part of the contents and forces the repagination of everything that follows. If you want your TOC to occupy its own page, that page will be numbered page 1, and your first section on page 2. Most of us prefer our first page of content to be listed as page 1.
One solution is to adjust the page numbering system to begin with page 0. Because page 0 is your TOC, your first content will begin on page 1. But if your TOC becomes longer than a page, this solution won't work.
There's an easier way: Before generating your table of contents, insert a new-page section break at the start of your first content. This gives you two sections in your document: the first destined for your TOC and the second for your content. Configure the second section so that it begins with page 1, thereby making sure that your content begins on page 1.
Now move to the newly created first section and generate your table of contents. It will list all the headings in your second section with the appropriate page numbers without affecting pagination. This tip also allows you to create a separate introductory section in Roman numerals, which will show its own numbering system in the TOC.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1897) 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: Insert a TOC without Upsetting Pagination.
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