My question could also be expressed as:

  • Can MS Word tag heading styles as "appears in ToC"?
  • Can MS Word show a partial TOC?

Here's the situation: I maintain a company document with a table of contents to two levels. For just one of the level two headings, I would like to show its level three subheadings. Kinda like this:

Introduction ⇐ level 1
  Scope      ⇐ level 2
  Main process ⇐ level 2
    step 1     ⇐ level 3 which I want to appear
    step 2
    step profit
  Clean up

In other words, I want the level 3 steps of the Main process to be listed, but I don't want the level 3 subheadings under Preparation or Clean up to appear.

The reason I included those alternative questions is because:

  1. I'm thinking there may be a way to control whether or not a heading style appears in the ToC - so for the ones I want to appear, I style them "Heading 3 exposed" and the ones I don't as "Heading 3 hidden".
  2. It may be possible to create three partial ToCs: ToC1 is 2-deep and covers up to Preparation; ToC2 is 3-deep and covers Main process; ToC3 is 2-deep and covers Clean up through to the end.

My answer has emerged from #1 above as I wrote it...


First, follow Rich's advice to create separate style for Heading 3 headings that you don't want to appear in the TOC.

Next, create a custom TOC field that includes only the styles you want. Here's an example:

{ TOC \o "1-2" \h \z \u \t "Heading 3,3" \h }

This TOC field excludes the "Heading 3 no-toc" field.

A complete reference for the TOC field can be found here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/toc-table-of-contents-field-1f538bc4-60e6-4854-9f64-67754d78d05c

  • Appreciate it! This is almost exactly what I'm looking for. I just wish you could have the additional style be the one that appears, and default Heading 3 not appear. – Rich Jan 20 '20 at 21:19
  • Rich, you put in the field the styles you want after the "\t" field switch. So, if you had a "Heading 3 in-toc" style, you'd simply put that style name after the "\t" switch. The number after the comma is the heading level you want it at (in my example above, level 3). – MAK Dec 3 '20 at 18:50

Possibly the best way to accomplish this is to:

  1. create a clone of Heading 3 named Heading 3 no-toc
  2. crucially, set Heading 3 no-toc to be a level 4 heading in the paragraph styling dialog
  3. create the ToC to show up to level 3

I'm experimenting with this, and it appears to work. In my copy, I've also renamed Heading 3 to Heading 3 in-toc

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.