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Using Multiple Tables of Contents

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Using Multiple Tables of Contents.

Word allows you to include multiple tables of contents in a single document. Thus, you can have a table of contents for each chapter of a book, even if all the chapters are in the same document.

In order to restrict the table entries for each separate table, you will have to use unique custom styles for each table. For example, you might use styles named "Chapter1Heading1", "Chapter1Heading2", and so on for the first chapter, and "Chapter2Heading1", etc., for the second chapter.

With your styles defined and applied to all the appropriate heads in your document, you are ready to generate the tables of contents. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the location in the document where you want the table of contents.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. At the left of the ribbon click the Table of Contents tool. Word displays a few options.
  4. Click Insert Table of Contents. Word displays the Table of Contents dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Table of Contents tab of the Table of Contents dialog box.

  6. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Table of Contents Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Table of Contents Options dialog box.

  8. Change the TOC Level column to reflect which styles you are using in the table of contents you are inserting. Thus, if you were using doing a TOC for Chapter 1, beside the "Chapter1Heading1" style you would place a 1 in the TOC Level column.
  9. Click on OK to close the Table of Contents Options dialog box.
  10. Click on OK to close the Table of Contents dialog box and generate the table of contents.

You should note that if, before following the above steps, your document already contains a TOC that was generated from a building block (done by selecting one of the predefined TOC styles), when you close the Table of Contents dialog box in step 8 the previous TOC is selected and you are asked if you want to replace it with the new TOC. In most instances you won't want; you'll want to add the new TOC to any you've already defined.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10080) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Multiple Tables of Contents.

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Comments for this tip:

KenEndacott    06 May 2016, 05:13
Paulette. At the position that you want create a TOC and in Show Levels set 1 (or 2 if you want both first and second level headings).
Paulette Reynolds    05 May 2016, 18:24
I have a lengthy manual (725 pages so far) and have already created a detailed TOC. I would like to create a second TOC with just the Main Headings. Can I do this when those Main Headins are already part of the detailed TOC? I want this TOC to come first, followed by the one I have already created. I do not want to create a TOC for each section.
Ann    22 Mar 2016, 16:48
Ken Endicott's solution is perfect! I have created a test document for myself and it works just as he describes. I did not think this was possible.

Thank you, Ken!
Peter Byrne    29 Oct 2015, 05:34
I guess the method above works well if you structure the document carefully from the start, but could be a real pain if you decide you need multiple TOCs later on in the development of the document.

Ken Endacott's method, identifying sections using bookmarks (see his Comment 11 Jul 2015, 07:29), is really easy to apply at any stage in the life of a document
Dwight Pierre    01 Oct 2015, 08:43
This worked quite well for me. Thanks Ken
Ken Endacott    11 Jul 2015, 07:29
You can create a table of contents for just a bookmarked range of text for example a chapter.

1. Firstly select the text, in this case the text of a chapter, then give it a bookmark with a name say CHAPTn.

2. Create a TOC in the usual way at the required position. At this stage the TOC is for the whole document

3. ALT/F9 to display the TOC field code which will look like { TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u }

4. Add to the field code /b CHAPTn the field code will now look like { TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u \b CHAPTn }

5. Click F9 and update the entire table

6. ALT/F9 to display the Table of Contents.

If you want to generate a TOC for just a Section then go through the above steps except the bookmarked range will be the whole of the section.

You can also use a macro to generate a TOC. The following macro will bookmark the section that the cursor is in and generate a three level TOC for that section.
Sub GenerateSectionTOC()
Dim strng As String
Dim Tname As String
Dim sn As Long
  sn = Selection.Information(wdActiveEndSectionNumber)
  Tname = "SECT" & Trim(Str(sn))
  ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Add Range:=ActiveDocument.Sections(sn).Range, Name:=Tname
  strng = "TOC" & Chr(34) & "1-3" & Chr(34) & " \h \z \t " & Chr(34) & _
  "Heading 1,1,Heading 2,2,Heading 3,3" & Chr(34) & " \u \b " & Tname
  Selection.Fields.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Type:=wdFieldEmpty, PreserveFormatting:=False
  Selection.Text = strng
End Sub

Dilraj Suri    11 Jul 2015, 02:33
Generating Common TOC for Multiple Documents

1. Split the main Word document into the required number of smaller documents.

2. Place all the split documents in a separate folder.

3. Create a separate document that contains the cover page and save it in the same folder.

4. Generate TOC in this document.

5. Press Alt+F9 to display the TOC field codes in the document.
The field code appears as:
{TOC \0 “1-3” \h \z}

Note: “1-3” denotes the number of Styles appearing in the TOC.

6. Position the cursor at the end of the document.

7. Press Ctrl+F9 to generate the RD fields.
A fresh pair of empty curly braces appears.

8. Type "RD \f chapter1.doc" within the braces.
The RD field appears as:
{ RD \f chapter1.doc }

Note: "Chapter1.doc" denotes the first document from the set of documents.

Use straight quotes for file name with spaces. (For example, "System Design Document1.doc")

Disable the auto-format features for Quotes, and Hyphen as follows:

Format > AutoFormat > Options > AutoCorrect window > AutoFormat tab > Replace "Straight quotes" with "Smart quotes"

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat As You Type tab > Replace as you type "Straight quotes" with "Smart quotes"

Format > AutoFormat > Options > AutoCorrect window > AutoFormat tab > Replace Hyphens (--) with dash (-)

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat As You Type tab > Replace as you type Hyphens (--) with dash (-)

9. Insert additional RD fields depending upon the number of Word documents, whose reference needs to be there in the TOC.

The field codes appear as follows:

o {TOC \0 “1-3” \h \z}
o { RD \f chapter1.doc }
o { RD \f chapter2.doc }
o { RD \f chapter3.doc }

10. Press Alt+F9 to toggle the field codes.
The field codes disappear.

11. Position the cursor anywhere in the TOC and press F9 to update the field codes.

The TOC for all the three documents gets generated successfully.

Creating Hyperlinks
Identify the first page of each document in the TOC and assign hyperlinks (Insert > Hyperlinks > Existing File or Web Page) to the respective topics.

Clicking the topic name with hyperlink opens the respective document.
Mattt    26 May 2015, 20:53
It works, but its not full explained here. there probably is a sub-topic of how to name quick styles or something.

step 1 is to define your header styles. and then go though your chapters and header everything the way you want to then follow these instructions.
Toni    02 Feb 2015, 15:23
Worked great for me. Thanks!
msm    15 Aug 2014, 18:58
1-I have created headings for appendices (in a long document with a main TOC)- using Styles - using "modify" to format as I want including all caps- but they will not generate as all caps in the appendix TOC; 2-also created the same way appendix subheadings and they will not go into the table of contents at all; 3-have gone into the TOC options over and over to make sure heading levels are ok - doesn't help; 4-the "add text" button doesn't work either; and the "update table" has a red exclamation point; am at my wits end - HELP
beachrat    22 Jul 2014, 14:08
Does not work. The only options are replace the other ToC or cancel.
jc    04 Feb 2014, 14:53
No tip that I try works. It should not be this difficult.
Nicole    07 Aug 2013, 16:43
Thanks for the helpful info!

I'm trying to create multiple tables in Word 2013 in different areas of the document, and it just won't work - from my insertion point, it jumps back to my previous table and "recalculates" that.

Any pointers? I'd appreciate any tips you might have!

Thank you. :)
Samer Lulu    05 Nov 2012, 05:57
wonderful .. Thanks :)
Jean-Claude    20 Aug 2012, 11:17
Hi Allen,

A nice tip worth considering is documented here:


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