I am using Table of Content (TOC) to automatically put headings into a TOC. The tab leaders are the dots between heading and page number. When the headings are longer than 1 line, the tab leaders are missing. Can I ask how to solve this?

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After changing the "Hanging" value for the TOC:

- Problem 1:

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- Problem 2:

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Reply to Luke: Either move right or left will change the indent for all the Level 2 Heading.

  • If move right, Heading 1.2 becomes fine but Heading 1.1 becomes wrong
  • If move left, the Level 2 Heading becomes more left than the Level 1 Heading, which is not good.

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  • What happens if you add a few words to this long heading and refresh TOC? Will this "solve" the problem or will page number still be placed just after the last word? If this "solves" the problem then you may have a tab stop in this line (or maybe in style definition for this TOC level). – endrju Mar 28 '17 at 11:46
  • @endrju yes, it solved the problem! But how can I remove the "tab stop"? – lanselibai Mar 28 '17 at 15:53
  • Now I can see that "29" page number in 1.2 is aligned to the same position as "Introduction" "The" and "The" in upper lines, so tab stop is useful here. So instead of removing it go to Line Spacing Options for this line and in Special set Hanging to the position of where "formulation" ends. (I don't have Word 2016 so there may be some differences here from Word 2010) – endrju Mar 28 '17 at 18:46
  • @endrju do you mean put cursor in the heading in the TOC or in the content? If I put cursor in the content, then choose "Hanging", the problem in the TOC still exist no matter what value I set for the "By". – lanselibai Mar 28 '17 at 19:54
  • I mean: in the heading in the TOC. – endrju Mar 28 '17 at 19:56

I've just had this same issue- however, my issue occurred with both heading that were too short (no leader- so the page number would appear directly beside the heading), or a long heading wrapped to a new line and the same would happen.

You can fix the issue by:

  1. enable the Ruler in your document (under the View tab on the ribbon menu).
  2. select line/heading in your TOC, and you will see a short bolded L shape appear in the Ruler (saying Left Tab when you hover on it)

  3. re-position the marker to the left so all words (even short TOC entries) clear it.

I hope that helps!

  • What do you mean "re-position the marker so it is in-line with the end of the heading", could you see my updated screenshot? – lanselibai Mar 30 '17 at 9:42

I had the same issue but found the conversation here confusing, it still took me a long time to figure out the solution. I'll therefore try to sum it up.

I have MS Word 2010.

Let's stick to the Original Poster's first screenshot, where the second line in the second-level table-of-content ("TOC") heading is not indented and the page number is not right-aligned. In my understanding, the solution is to set the indentation of a second-level TOC-heading to "Hanging" and set the hanging value equal to physical length of the string "1.2\tab". The indentation then somehow forces the page number to jump off to the right margin where it belongs. Obviously, this has to be done for each heading level separately since e.g. a fourth-level heading "\tab" will have a greater physical length.

Step by step:

  1. go to ribbon "References", click "TOC" and then "Insert TOC" at the bottom
  2. in the opened dialogue box, hit "Modify"
  3. in the next open dialogue box, select the desired TOC level, and hit "Modify"
  4. in the new dialogue box, click the "Format" drop-down menu at the bottom, and select "Paragraph"
  5. finally, in this new dialog box see the "Indentation" section, and in the "Special" drop-down select "Hanging" and insert the appropriate value in the "By" field. You'll have to find the optimal value by experimenting, my guess is it will most often be 1 - 2 cm.
  6. close (hit "OK") in all the open dialog boxes and at the end, when You're asked whether to replace the existing TOC with a new one, click "Yes".

I don't guarantee this is 100% correct but so far, it seems to be working for me.


My admin lady literally hit tab and shifted the page number to the right. The leader then appeared. Try hitting tab.

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