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: Two Types of Page Numbers in a TOC.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 10, 2020)
Peggy generated a table of contents (TOC) that displayed correctly. Without warning the page number for the first entry in the TOC changed from "iii" to "3". (The page number that appears in the footer for that page is "iii".) Peggy didn't touch the TOC; it just changed and she can't get it to go back to "iii". She tried updating the TOC and it persists to display "3" in the TOC.
When compiling a table of contents, Word uses the same page number formatting as appears on the pages within the header or footer of each page. If the page number in the header or footer appears properly, then it should appear properly in the TOC.
You can verify this by selecting the entire document (press Ctrl+A) and updating all the fields in the document (press F9). In most documents both page numbers and tables of contents are implemented through the use of fields. When everything is updated, see if the page number appears properly in the TOC. If it doesn't, take a look at the page number that appears in the header or footer to see if it looks right.
If the page number looks wrong in the header or footer, then it is possible that a section break got deleted by mistake during routine editing. If the section break is still there, then it is possible that the page number format got messed up for the section that contains the page number. Either way, you will have some additional editing and formatting to do to get the situation straightened out.
If the page number looks OK in the header or footer, then it is possible that something is amiss with the styles used to display your TOC. You'll want to check the formatting specified for the styles to make sure that it is correct.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7693) 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: Two Types of Page Numbers in a TOC.
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!
Word makes it easy to create a Table of Contents. If you want column headings in that table, getting them takes a bit of ...Discover More
Want to "lock down" the lines in a TOC so that you cannot add new paragraph marks in the middle of one? You may not be ...Discover More
If your document is any length at all, adding a table of contents is a nice touch. This tip demonstrates how easy it is ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.
Visit the WordTips channel on YouTube