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: Adding Column Headings to a Table of Contents.

Adding Column Headings to a Table of Contents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2020)

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Vincent has a Table of Contents that spans multiple pages. At the beginning of the TOC he has inserted headings for each of the columns (i.e., Section, Page, etc.). He wants to get these column headings to appear on the ensuing pages, as well.

The problem here is that a Table of Contents, in Word, is a table in name only—it is actually the result of a field and not a real table. That being said, there are a few approaches you can take to display your desired headings on each page.

One approach is to convert the field results (the Table of Contents) to regular text by selecting the TOC and pressing Ctrl+Shift+F9. Once done, you can then convert the text to a table and add your repeating headings as you normally would. The drawback to this approach, of course, is that the Table of Contents is no longer dynamic. If edits to your document necessitate a change in the TOC, you will need to make that change manually.

Another approach is to insert continuous section breaks both before and after the TOC. In the section containing the TOC (and only in that section) modify the page header so that it contains the TOC headings. This page header will be repeated for each page on which the TOC appears. This approach will take some tweaking, however, to get the page header to be close enough to where the TOC starts at the top of each page.

A third (and perhaps easiest) approach is to create a table that consists of two rows and one column. Format the table so that it does not have any borders. In the first row of the table place the headings that you want repeated at the top of each page of the TOC. In the second row of the table place your actual TOC. Format the first row of the table (the one with your headings) as you would any table row that you want to repeat.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12700) 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: Adding Column Headings to a Table 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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What is 8 + 2?

2020-04-16 11:14:35

Michael Kies

This sort of approach is needed when a TOC (created by a TOC field) spans multiple pages. Another approach that also works in this case is to place the column headers in normal text in the main document above the TOC field. On subsequent pages within that section, use a unique header with the column headings added in the header. You must use "Different first page" in the header setup. You'll also need a section break at the end of the TOC so that your header (with TOC column headings) isn't carried over into subsequent sections. Repeat this method for List of Tables and List of Figures if they span more than one page.


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