Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: TOC Heading Numbers Always Show in Bold.

TOC Heading Numbers Always Show in Bold

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2015)

Linda has a document which uses built-in heading styles that she's modified to use automatic numbering. When she generates a table of contents from these headings, the numbers and text are always bold. Linda thinks the table of contents looks better when it's not in bold text, so she modified the TOC styles so they weren't bold. However, Word still shows the numbers in the TOC (the automatic numbers pulled from the headings, not the page numbers) in bold. Linda wonders how she can modify the TOC styles so that the numbers and the text are both not bold.

It is important to keep in mind that the problem may not necessarily be with the TOC styles. The problem could be with the headings in the document. When a TOC is generated, any explicit formatting in the headings is carried over to the TOC, as explicit formatting. Thus, if you have a heading for which the style is 14-point regular text, and someone selects the heading and changes the formatting (making it bold, changing the point size, etc.), then the explicit formatting is carried over to the TOC entry, overriding whatever the TOC style says should be used.

One way to test if this is the problem is to select a heading in your document (the entire paragraph, including the paragraph mark at the end of the paragraph) and press Ctrl+Space Bar then Ctrl+Q. The first shortcut returns the paragraph to the underlying character formatting as defined in the style and the second shortcut returns the paragraph to the underlying paragraph formatting defined in the style. If, after pressing these two shortcut keys, the heading looks different than it did before, then there was explicit formatting applied that would carry over and affect any TOC that relies on that heading. Your best bet at this point is to repeat this process with all the headings and then make any changes to the heading styles to reflect how you want the headings to really appear.

Because Word transfers explicit formatting from the headings to the TOC entries, this brings up something else you can do, if you'd like. You should be able to remove any explicit formatting from the TOC itself by selecting the entire TOC and pressing Ctrl+Space Bar and Ctrl+Q. This works because, again, the explicit formatting (which was transferred by Word) is removed and the underlying TOC styles show through. The only problem with this approach is that you will need to redo it every time the TOC is regenerated, as the explicit formatting is retransferred every time the TOC is created.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10254) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: TOC Heading Numbers Always Show in Bold.

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

Reusing a Bookmark

Bookmarks in Word are just like bookmarks used in paper books, any given bookmark may be reused to mark a new location. ...

Discover More

Special Characters In Hyperlinks

Do you use special characters (such as the pound sign) in your worksheet names? If so, you could run into problems creating ...

Discover More

Identifying the Last Cell Changed in a Worksheet

When someone changes a cell in a worksheet, Excel normally goes along its merry way of keeping everything up to date. It does ...

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)

Locking Lines in a TOC

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 able ...

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

Specifying a Table of Contents Entry

If you need to create a specialized table of contents, you need to know how to add TOC entries to your document. It's easy to ...

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 7 - 1?

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.