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I have a typo in our original (Microsoft Word) document which I did not write. The author has left the company.

The document is about 9 pages long with various sections. The section headings are like...

  • 1.3.1 So And So
  • 1.3.2 More And So
  • 1.3.3 And So On

Each one of those has a link back to the table of contents.

However, he made a typo. When he got to 1.3.5 he re-typed that same number so that the document has two headings with that number, and both of them are linked to the table of contents.

When I tried changing the second 1.3.5 to 1.3.6 I get that specific heading changed on the page on which I'm typing, but the table of contents still says 1.3.5 a second time.

I have never worked with a linked table of contents in a MS-Word document before. Thank you for your direction on this.

Qustion: How do I correct all the heading numbers, and get them to correlate properly with their links in the table of contents ?

The headings in question go from 1.3.1 to 1.3.14.

When I correct this, they should go up to 1.3.15

Is there a way to click once and have them all in order ?

Is this procedure documented on the Microsoft website somewhere ?

Thanks for anything that helps.

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Try pressing CTRL+A to select all content and updating fields by pressing F9. If it asks, rebuild the entire TOC. – Adam Jul 30 '13 at 2:33
If this doesn't work, you need to check, whether your headings have the correct style (in your case Heading 3 from Styles and Formatting) and rebuild the entire TOC after correcting this. It seems, that your styles are not used properly, because you have to manually change the numbering. If it is used correctly, Word will do the numbering for you and you don't have to even worry about it. – Samoth Jul 31 '13 at 7:25
@JohannesThomasMeyer, Thank you. I am hardly the Word expert, plus, I didn't write this document, so most of what you just commented is probably at least close, if not accurate. I will not be in the shop today but will look at this when I return, and thank you for responding. – User.1 Aug 1 '13 at 10:42

Regarding your question about updating the linked TOC, once you've made your correction to the section heading text, go to the TOC and right-click one of the lines (it doesn't matter, you just need to be within the merge field). Your choices will be to just update the page numbers or update the entire table, you want to choose the latter. If what you get after that are a bunch of additional items in the TOC (i.e. you see text that doesn't belong there and wasn't there before.), the styles that were originally set up for the TOC have leached into the body text and other formatting. To correct that, go to the offending text and revert back to the appropriate style or just clear the formatting and apply the format you want. The goal should be to scrub the offending text of the style that is linked to the TOC.

Regarding the section numbering, you should set up each number level as a Word style with the numbering format embedded. However, if you consider yourself a novice, you will need somebody who has intermediate to advanced Word skills to set that up (there are plenty of blogs and forums that provide tips and how-tos, etc., if you want to be adventurous and DIY). Either way, it is worth the trouble as it will save you a lot of time and spare you the frustration.

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