Format or customize a table of contents in Word 2016 for Mac

After you create a table of contents, you can customize the way it looks. For example, you can select how many heading levels to include and whether to show lines between entries and the page numbers. You can also change the format of text, and Word will keep that format no matter how many times you update the table of contents.

Format a table of contents

  1. Click References > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents.

    At the bottom of the list of table of contents styles, click Custom Table of Contents

  2. In the Table of Contents dialog box, make your changes. You’ll see a preview of the changes in the box on the right.

    Table of contents dialog box

    • To add lines between entries and page numbers, in the Tab leader list, choose a line style. To remove all lines click (none).

    • To change the overall appearance of your table of contents, in the Formats list, click the format that you want.

  3. Click OK.

Format the text in a table of contents

You can change the way the text looks in each level of a table of contents.

  1. Click References > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents.

    At the bottom of the list of table of contents styles, click Custom Table of Contents

  2. In the Table of Contents dialog box, under Formats, click From template.

  3. At the bottom of the dialog box, click Modify.

  4. In the Style dialog box, in the Styles list, click the level you want to change and then click Modify.

  5. In the Modify Style dialog box, make the formatting changes that you want, and then click OK.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for all the levels you want to display in your table of contents.

Change or add levels to a table of contents

The most common way to change the number of levels shown in your table of contents is to replace the existing table with one that contains the levels you want. A shorter, but more technical, way to do it is to edit the field code information.

Tip: If you want to change the level of an individual table of contents entry, change the heading level of that text in the body of your document.

Replace the table of contents

  1. Click References > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents.

    Click Table of Contents on the References tab to display the menu, and then click Custom Table of Contents.
  2. In Table of Contents, in the Show levels list, choose the number of levels that you want, and then click OK.

    In the table of Contents dialog box, on the Table of Contents tab, select settings for your document's table of contents.

    For example, if you click 2, then all text with the Heading 1 style or the Heading 2 style applied is displayed in the table of contents.

  3. When you are asked whether you want to replace the existing table of contents, click Yes.

Edit the field code information

Word inserts field codes automatically when you use particular commands. For example, when you Add page numbers, Word inserts the Page field. When you Create a table of contents, Word inserts the TOC field. To learn more about field codes, see Field codes in Word.

You can edit the field code information for the table of contents to quickly change the number of heading levels it includes.

  1. Click in your table of contents at the first position on the first line after the title, press Control + Click, and then click Toggle Field Codes.

    Tip: If you Control + Click in a line in the table of contents and toggle field codes, Word only displays the field code for that line. To display the field code for the entire table, you must Control + Click at the beginning or end of a line.

    The field code information appears between curly brackets, taking the place of the headings normally displayed in the table of contents.

    If you toggle display of field codes, you can edit the settings directly.
  2. Change the numbers in the quotation marks. For example, if you want to show only two levels, change "1-3" to "1-2".

  3. Control + Click in the field code, and then click Toggle Field Codes to restore display of the table of contents.

  4. To update the table of contents to see your changes, click References > Update Table.

    Click Update Table on the References tab to update a document's table of contents.

See also

Create a table of contents

Update a table of contents

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