Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro.

Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 10, 2019)

If you have a document that contains a table of contents (TOC), and you update the fields in the entire document, Word asks if you want to update the entire table, the chapter entries, or just the page numbers associated with the existing chapter entries in the Table of Contents. This occurs because TOCs are implemented through the use of a field, and when you update all fields you are telling Word you also want to update the field underlying the TOC.

You can update a TOC using a macro by utilizing the TablesOfContents collection. Each item in the collection represents a single TOC in the document. (In most documents the collection will consist of only a single item.) To update the entire TOC, you use this format of the command:

ActiveDocument.TablesOfContents(1).Update

The Update method is what does the work; it updates the TOC. If you want to update only the page numbers in the TOC, you use an entirely different method:

ActiveDocument.TablesOfContents(1).UpdatePageNumbers

Whenever you use commands like these in a macro, it is a good idea to make sure that there is actually a TOC in the document before you try to do any updating. The easiest way to do this is to just check the Count property for the collection, as shown here:

If ActiveDocument.TablesOfContents.Count = 1 Then _ 
  ActiveDocument.TablesOfContents(1).Update

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8621) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro.

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

Making Sure Changes and Comments are Anonymous

When using Track Changes, Word normally notes the originator of a particular comment or change. This information can then ...

Discover More

Macros in Template Files

People often place macros in template files to perform any number of tasks. This tip describes a situation where the link ...

Discover More

Working with Multiple Conditions

When you apply conditional formatting, you are not limited to using a single condition. Indeed, you can set up multiple ...

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 (ribbon)

Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels

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

Customized Tables of Contents

Generating a table of contents is easy in Word. Changing how that table of contents looks is also easy, provided you ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Contents Involving Multiple Documents

Word can handle very large documents, but some people find it preferable to break large documents into multiple ...

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 6 - 5?

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 ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.