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I have a short document and would like to use a TOC to illustrate its structure. The full-width default is overkill, but it seems impossible to put the TOC in a word-wrapped, right-aligned text box. Is it, in fact, possible to do this?

I have reviewed the answers to a very similar question, but cannot figure out how to achieve my goal.

To clarify, here is what I tried:

  • Using the rulers visible under Print Layout, if I shrink it to the right, then when I put it into a narrow sidebar text box, I only see the blank space to the left of it. Apparently, I have not really changed the width of the TOC, but kept it the same size with half of it blank.

  • When I use the rulers to shrink it to the left, nothing happens; all the numbers stay all the way on the right.

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  • For now, I've put it there with the page numbers disabled, since my document is so short. – Frank Sep 25 '14 at 18:34
  • Using alignment or ruler tabs should help you, make sure you highlight the entire TOC before trying this otherwise can you let us know what is it that isn't working for you when you try? – Adam Sep 26 '14 at 14:06
  • Thank you @Adam. In recounting what I tried yesterday (added to the question above), I stumbled on something that works, which I'll throw into an answer. It may not be the best approach, so I am still open to other answers from anyone. – Frank Sep 26 '14 at 16:00
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Here are the steps that worked for me in the end:

  1. Create a TOC in the main body of the document

  2. Select Print Layout in the bottom right of the window, making the rulers visible on the border of the page

  3. Put the cursor in one of the top-level headings in the TOC, so that the rulers for that level are shown

  4. Drag the small L-shaped caret over to the left, and drag the thing dividing white and gray (page and border, I guess) over as well, tweaking them until that level looks okay

  5. Repeat 3 and 4 for lower-level headings (subsection, subsubsection, etc.)

  6. Create a text box, Insert tab > "Text" clump of buttons > Text Box button

  7. Select and cut the text of the TOC from the body of the document and paste it into the sidebar, dragging the sidebar's dimensions and location as needed for a fit

  8. Fix up the rulers regulating the body of the document, which more likely than not were messed up in the process

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