I've got a document I'm working on in Word 2010 that uses numbered headings. When generating the table of contents, I notice that the spacing between the heading numbers and the heading text is inconsistent. Take a look at the following screenshot:

Inconsistent spacing

This inconsistent spacing is not seen in the main body text. How can I fix this problem?


Looks like an issue with spacing, probably the tabs (using show/hide code button in paragraph section of ribbon to show formatting would show arrows for tabs). Notice how the spacing after the headings is the same for paragraphs that have the same heading level. For example, level x.x has one space after heading, while level x.x.x has no space.

You have to adjust the tabs after each heading. From Microsoft Website: modify table of contents

To change the way heading levels are displayed in the table of contents, >click Modify. In the Style dialog box, click the level that you want to >change, and then click Modify. In the Modify Style dialog box, you can >change the font, the size, and the amount of indentation.

Hope this helps.


I had this exact problem and discovered that it was a spacing problem with the spacing before a subsequent ToC style (not the spacing after the suspected TOC style).

Given that one or more of the ToC styles need to be modified, then depending on the "look" you are trying to achieve, do one or more of the following things:

  1. For the ToC style of interest, in the paragraph settings box, make adjustments as needed to the:

    • Spacing before and after the paragraph
    • Line spacing
    • Space between paragraphs of the same style
  2. (IMO) Most important of all, in the styles Properties box, uncheck Automatically update. Do this for every ToC level; no exceptions.

  3. As an extra measure to preserve the changes, rename the ToC style with an alias, such as TOC1,mytoc1.

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