Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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.

Using Multiple Tables of Contents

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 25, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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.

The easiest way to create multiple tables of contents is to use styles. What you want to do is to create a set of styles for the headings you want included in each TOC. For example, you might use styles named “Chapter1Heading1”, “Chapter1Heading2”, and so on for the first chapter, and “Chapter2Heading1”, etc., for the second chapter. Once you are done creating all the styles for your headings, you'll need to apply those styles to the actual headings in your document. (How you create and apply styles is beyond the scope of this tip, but has been covered extensively in other WordTips.)

With your styles defined and applied to all the appropriate headings 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 to do that, you'll want to add the new TOC to any you've already defined.

There is another approach you can use that is well suited if you simply want to add a second TOC that applies to just a small portion of your document. This approach relies on the use of bookmarks. Follow these general steps:

  1. Select all of the text you want included in the TOC and assign a bookmark (such as PARTx) to the text. (How you create bookmarks is, again, beyond the scope of this tip by has been covered elsewhere in WordTips.)
  2. Create a TOC based on the headings in your document. When you are done, this TOC will apply to the entire document.
  3. Position the insertion point just before the TOC you just created.
  4. Press Alt+F9. All of the fields in your document are changed so that they show the field codes instead of the results of the field codes. This means that you'll see the field code for the TOC you just entered; it will look something like this:
  5.      { TOC \o "1-2" \h \z \u }
    
  6. Modify the field code so that it looks similar to this:
  7.      { TOC \o "1-2" \h \z \u \b PARTx }
    
  8. Press Alt+F9. This toggles Word so that it shows the results of the field codes. Your TOC should again be visible, but it still needs to be updated.
  9. Position the insertion point within the TOC and press F9. If prompted, indicate you want to update the entire table.

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, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Multiple Tables of Contents.

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. ...

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