How To Exclude Headings From The Table Of Contents In Microsoft Word

WordTOC.jpgThe official Word blog discusses how to fix a tricky formatting problem in Word — using a pre-defined heading style in a document but not have every instance show up in an automatically-generated table of contents. (By default, Word includes all instances that match existing heading styles in any contents table.) The solution on offer — copy the existing style and give it a new name while removing its status as a heading — is fairly neat, though it does have one disadvantage: if you modify the original heading style, those changes won't show up automatically in the cloned style.


    You can get around the problem of modifying the original style by doing this:

    1. Create your original heading style. For arguments sake lets call it 'Heading 1'.

    2. Create your new header style and call it 'Heading 1 - not indexed'

    3. Modify it's properties setting 'Style based on' to 'Heading 1'.

    4. Create your table of contents and under 'Options' remove the entry for 'Heading 1 - not indexed.

    Any items formatted with the new style will not be indexed, but if you modify the style for 'Heading 1' it will be applied to both styles.

      There is a MUCH better & much easier way to Exclude an item from the TOC, Table of Contents. It's hard to find in Microsft Word but it's there.

      1. Simply highlight the item you don't want.
      2. Hit References>Add Text > "Do Not Show In Table Of Contents".


        That's great Stephanie. You sorted me out in 1 sec! Fabulous!

        Im currently trying to follow your instructions but I cant seem to locate "References" in any of the drop down menus. I am using Word 2008 Mac edition. Any help would be appreciated...somehow all of the text in my document has been labeled with a heading and I need some text to be excluded from my toc

        The problem I have with this solution is that it also removes the header formatting from the item that you are removing from the TOC.

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thanks ...its a great solution. But I'm facing another problem regarding this. After updating the TOC, I save and close the document, but when i re-open it, the same problem re-surfaces. Its as if the test is not accepting "Do Not Show In Table Of Contents".

        Any solutions or clue as what might be causing it.

        THANK YOU! Saved me a whold lot of time with that simple fix. Genius!

        Stephanie!!! you are a life saver. WALLLAH indead! worked after months months of

        thanks. This was a real help.

        All that does is remove the heading style and convert it to normal.

        If you want it to still behave as a heading (i.e in the document map or in outline view and for structured paragraph numbering) and inherit any formatting modifications applied to that particular style, then the twave method is the one.

        And the word is Voila (it's French) , not Wallah !

        I was psyched to have such an easy fix! But it doesn't work for me. I'm on Win 7/Office 2010/SP 1. I have the heading for the TOC page ("Contents") set to Heading 1 so it looks like the rest of the document but I don't want it to list itself. See the circular logic? But when I mark it as you said "Do not Show...", Word defaults that selected text ("Contents") to Normal style - Callibri 11 pt.


    The other thing you lose with this "two style" approach is the ability to reference the current heading text in the header or footer. I use this to have the current document chapter name in the footer.

    This doesn't work very well if you have page numbering. The numbering does not recognize the previous numbers if you switch styles - it will start over from 1. Note to Microsoft: This should be a right-click option on the heading styles. Other word processors use separate field codes for the TOC - you mark each entry that you want in the TOC. The entry isn't there by default just because it is a particular style. This is a much better system IMO. To summarize: TOC SHOULD BE SEPARATE FROM STYLES. I can't stress that enough. This would eliminate all the unwanted garbage that ends up in the TOC all the time.

    @Helen: you can set the TOC in Word to use either styles or specifically marked entries. (Edit field - TOC - Options - "Build table of contents from": uncheck 'styles'). IMO styles is a good way to do it because it automatically updates the text used for the contents when that text is changed in the document.

    The problem with this two-style solution is that it doesn't allow automatic numbering of paragraphs, nor the use of the style for the header/footer. Is it the only solution?

    To include or exclude certain headers from the TOC:

    • Right click on the TOC in question \ click Edit Field
    • On the left hand side scroll to and select “TOC” (you may type "TOC" quickly to skip down)
    • click Table of Contents…\click Options…
    • To add or remove styles to be included in the table of contents:
    o Remove: delete the number in the field indicating the level at which the style is to appear in the TOC, this will deselect the header from showing in the TOC at all
    o Add: enter the level number in the field to indicate at what level that style should be shown in the TOC


      THANK YOU!!!

      But this will remove all headings at that level from the TOC, if say you just want to remove one of your heading level 3 from the TOC, but leave all the others there, then the twave method above is the one to use

    Tara Walker is a genius! NICE SOLVE!!

    Great FIX, Tara Walker!! Thanks a mint!!

    Word is too complex and full of bugs - Microsoft needs to take lessons from WordPerfect and learn how to write code so that an average user like me can work with it

    Brilliant, great answer.

    Thank you so much! This problem was driving me crazy.

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