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.

Using Multiple Tables of Contents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 2, 2014)


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.

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. ...


Keeping Full Menus Displayed

Word allows menus to be displayed in two modes. The default mode, which displays menu options dynamically, drives some people ...

Discover More

Backing Up Your AutoText Entries

Got a bunch of AutoText entries defined for your system? You'll undoubtedly want to back them up at some time. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Appending to a Non-Document Text File

Your macros can easily add information to the end of an existing text file. This is done by opening the target file in Append ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro

The TOC (Table of Contents) is generated by a field. This field may be updated in a macro using a single command line.

Discover More

Problems with TOC Styles

If you generate a table of contents for your document, there may be some unexpected surprises in the way the TOC appears. ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Contents from TOC Fields

If you inserted a bunch of TOC fields in your document, you can create your table of contents quite easily based on those ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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. 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 7 + 5?

2017-04-26 02:46:59


is there any way to have 2 or more separate TOCs - each TOC with a heading?

2017-03-02 17:13:36



My (soon-to-be) print book has two different "heading" styles for each chapter heading. How do I make a TOC out of the chapters with 2 different styles?


2016-05-06 05:13:03


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).

2016-05-05 18:24:52

Paulette Reynolds

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.

2016-03-22 16:48:41


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!

2015-10-29 05:34:49

Peter Byrne

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

2015-10-01 08:43:21

Dwight Pierre

This worked quite well for me. Thanks Ken

2015-07-11 07:29:10

Ken Endacott

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

2015-07-11 02:33:04

Dilraj Suri

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 “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 “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.

2015-05-26 20:53:44


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.

2015-02-02 15:23:57


Worked great for me. Thanks!

2014-08-15 18:58:41


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

2014-07-22 14:08:24


Does not work. The only options are replace the other ToC or cancel.

2014-02-04 14:53:19


No tip that I try works. It should not be this difficult.

2013-08-07 16:43:57


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. :)

2012-11-05 05:57:51

Samer Lulu

wonderful .. Thanks :)

2012-08-20 11:17:02


Hi Allen,

A nice tip worth considering is documented here:


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

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.