I'm using Word 2011 on OS X and have a problem with the table of contents.

It lists itself as the first chapter.

How do I stop it from doing so?

5 Answers 5


Check the style you used for the heading on the table of contents (TOC). Chapters in many tables of contents are generated from the heading styles. If you used Heading 1 as the style for the heading on the TOC, then it will show up as a chapter.

To fix this you can do one of the following.

  • Change the style of the TOC heading to Normal and manually apply the font, etc. to make it look the same as Heading 1.
  • Create a new style (say TOC Heading) and base it on Heading 1. It will have the same font, etc. as Heading 1 even if you change the Heading 1 style. Use this style for the heading of the TOC.
  • I tried that, didn't work. It's still listed. Anything else that has to be done? Apr 17, 2015 at 18:06
  • In the Modify Style dialog box for the new "TOC Heading", make sure the "Style based on field" doesn't say "Heading 1".
    – momeara
    Apr 7, 2016 at 17:38

I know that the question is about Word 2011, but I wanted to put this here in case anyone else was trying on a not-so-different version.

In Word 2010, select your TOC header and go to the References tab in the top bar, from there select Add Text and select Do Now Show in Table of Contents.

Shows where to select to remove from TOC

Repeat this for any other headings that you wish to remove (I also used this to exclude List of Figures and List of Tables from my TOC.

  • When I did this in Word 2010, it did not remove the Heading 1 paragraph from the TOC per se, it changed the Heading 1 paragraph to Normal style (which doesn't show in the TOC). This seems like a completely stupid feature.
    – gwideman
    Jul 18, 2017 at 19:15

To set up a Table of Contents in Word for Mac 2011 I give everything a style, then:

  1. Go into Document Elements on the ribbon.

  2. Select Table of Contents -> Options.

  3. Click Options and I get the Table of Contents Options window. This allows me to specify the styles I want to include in the TOC and what level each style is (1-4). To remove a style, clear the option.

  4. Then go back and rebuild the TOC.


Actually when you add the table of contents (TOC) by choosing "Document Elements" on the Ribbon (I think it is called, underneath the first row of icons) and then there "Table of Contents" (second from the left), then "Insert", you then get a selection of styles for your TOC.

Choosing one of the "automatic" TOC's (first row) the inserted TOC contains automatically a title formatted as "Heading 1" that did NOT list itself in the TOC underneath. So Word does the trick itself.

For international users: You can manually change the title of the TOC to whatever you need in your language, updating the TOC will only update the titles and/or page numbers but leave the title of the TOC untouched.


For those searching this answer nowadays and looking for the way to exclude the Table of Contents (TOC) for the headings automatic numbering (NOT the one inside the TOC, the general one for the headings). I lost 45 minutes of my life for the Word's bad programming (and because none in the web never answered to this problem) but I solved it.

Don't look at the answers, the 1st one doesn't work, the other ones doesn't answer the question.

Go to the syles until the last row where the "Table of content's title" is. Modify the property of the style and on the "Style based on" option remove "Heading 1" and put "Normal" or whatever that is not a heading. Problem solved, the table of content heading won't numbered as 1.

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