Modify a Table of Contents (TOC) to Add Heading Levels in a Microsoft Word Document

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 10, 2022

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 or 365 (Windows)

If you have created a custom or automatic table of contents (TOC) in a Word document, you can add heading levels to the TOC. You can add built-in heading styles or custom styles as levels.

Recommended article: How to Create a Table of Contents in Word

Do you want to learn more about Microsoft Word? Check out our virtual classroom or in-person classroom Word courses >

Adding built-in heading styles to a table of contents

If you have created a table of contents using built-in heading styles (such as Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.), you can easily add heading levels.

To add built-in heading styles to a table of contents:

  1. Click in the table of contents.
  2. Click the References tab in the Ribbon and click Table of Contents in the Table of Contents group. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Custom Table of Contents. A dialog box appears.
  4. In the Show Levels box, enter the number of levels you want to include in the table of contents (such as 4).
  5. Click OK. A dialog box appears asking if you want to replace the table of contents.
  6. Click OK.

The Table of Contents dialog box appears as follows with 3 heading levels:

Custom table of contents dialog box in Word with multiple heading levels.

Adding other styles as levels in a table of contents

Although it's easier to use built-in heading styles to create a table of contents, you can use other styles (such as custom styles) in a table of contents.

To add other styles as levels to a table of contents:

  1. Click in the table of contents.
  2. Click the References tab in the Ribbon and click Table of Contents in the Table of Contents group. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Custom Table of Contents. A dialog box appears.
  4. Click Options. A dialog box appears.
  5. In the TOC level column, enter the number you want to use beside each style you want to include in the table of contents. For example, enter 1 beside the style you want to pick up in the first level of the table of contents.
  6. Delete any unnecessary numbers in the TOC level column.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK. A dialog box appears asking if you want to replace the table of contents.
  9. Click OK.

In the following example, two custom styles are included in a table of contents:

Table of contents options to add custom styles in a table of contents.

You can continue to apply styles in your document and then right-click in the table of contents and select Update Field to update the table of contents. If you have used custom styles, you may need to go through the above process again to ensure that the correct styles are included in the updated table of contents.

Subscribe to get more articles like this one

Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, JOIN our email list.

More resources

How to Create, Edit, Use and Save Templates in Microsoft Word

10 Microsoft Word Navigation Shortcuts for Moving Around Faster

How to Insert an Em or En Dash in Word (4 Ways with Shortcuts)

How to Keep Text Together in Microsoft Word (Words, Lines or Paragraphs)

How to Convert a PDF to Word in Microsoft Office (No Third Party Programs Needed)

Related courses

Microsoft Word: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft PowerPoint: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Word: Long Documents Master Class

Microsoft Word: Styles, Templates and Tables of Contents

Microsoft Word: Designing Dynamic Word Documents Using Fields

VIEW MORE COURSES >

Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some in-person classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca if you'd like to arrange custom instructor-led virtual classroom or onsite training on a date that's convenient for you.

Copyright 2022 Avantix® Learning

You may also like

How to Insert or Type the Beta Symbol in Word (β or Β)

How to Insert or Type the Beta Symbol in Word (β or Β)

You can insert or type the Beta symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Beta symbol can be entered in upper case (Β) or lower case (β) using built-in commands or keyboard shortcuts (including Alt codes, AutoCorrect entries or custom shortcuts). Beta is the 2nd letter in the Greek alphabet and is comparable to the letter B.

How to Find and Replace Formatting in Word (such as Bold, Italic and Font)

How to Find and Replace Formatting in Word (such as Bold, Italic and Font)

You can find and replace formatting in Word by searching for specific formatting, such as bold or italic, and changing it to other formats. You or even search for text with specific formatting and change the text and the formats. With Find and Replace, you can search for and change both character and paragraph formatting.

How to View Word Count in Microsoft Word (4 Ways)

How to View Word Count in Microsoft Word (4 Ways)

You can view word count in a Microsoft Word document in several ways. Although word count is typically displayed in the Status Bar, you can view a Word Count dialog box which can be displayed using the Ribbon, the Status Bar or a keyboard shortcut. In addition to word count, you can check a document for the number of characters, lines, paragraphs and pages. Word count and other statistics are also available in Word Properties. 

Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.

Avantix Learning |18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 | Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca

Summary
How to Add Heading Levels to a Table of Contents in Word
Article Name
How to Add Heading Levels to a Table of Contents in Word
Description
If you have created a custom or automatic table of contents (TOC) in a Word document, you can add heading levels to the TOC. You can add built-in heading styles or custom styles as levels.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This