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I'm working on the spell list for our LARP club in Microsoft Word 365 (I know.. Geeky huh? but bear with me!)

I have a spell description like this: Spell Description

Where the name of the spell (Counter Spell) is in a Heading 3 style. The heading is then picked up by the table of contents at the beginning of the document and used to create the Table of Contents.

To the right of the spell name is "back to top" which is a link that takes you back to the top of the 200 page document.

My problem is that the 'back to top' text is being included in the Table of Contents as you can see here:

Table of Contents

I've spent ages trying to get Word not to include that 'back to top' text but nothing seems to work.

I've cleared styles on it (which clears styles on the whole line) I've tried inserting it in a text box (which then appears in the TOC) I've tried making a little GIF but then THAT gets included in the TOC.

I've Googled around but can find nothing about stopping Word from including a specific section of text from the Table of contents...

Is there a way? Or do I just need to find some other place to put my 'back to top' text?

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You want to use a Style Separator.

Style Separator

The primary reason to do this is when you want a snippet from the beginning of a particular heading to appear in a Table of Contents but don't want the entire heading in the Table of Contents.

screenshot The screenshot above, with non-printing formatting marks displayed, shows two different paragraph styles used in one logical printed paragraph. Note the pillcrow (paragraph mark) with the dots around it separating the two. The colors of the styles here are different. The usual use of this, though, would be for the styles to look the same. This was used in automatically generating the Table of Contents. The second part of the paragraph, in the non-heading style did not get picked up in the Table of Contents.


You can add a Style Separator to the end of a paragraph using the Ctrl+Alt+Enter Keyboard Shortcut. Then you add your text for the separate style.

Here is another screenshot.

screenshot

The quotation is from my page on styles.

See also Creating Run-In Sideheads by Word MVP Suzanne Barnhill.

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  • Spot on! I never even knew Style Separators were a thing! Thanks! Jun 14, 2022 at 17:09
  • You are welcome Jun 14, 2022 at 17:49

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