How to Hide Text from Microsoft Word TOC (Table of Contents)

Occasionally I run in to an issue with Microsoft Word where I insert a TOC but find it includes unwanted headings from the front page of the document.

Before TOC Issue

Text that has been styled with a Heading style will be included in the TOC as if it is a normal section heading.


In order to correct this, the following steps can be taken:

  1. In MS Word, open the Styles Window. This is found on the Home ribbon, at the far right, via the small grey arrow below the Styles section. Alternatively press Alt + Ctrl +Shift +S
  2. TOC Issue Step 1
  3. In the Styles Windows, click the New Style button
  4. TOC Issue Step 2
  5. Create a new style with a unique name such as Front Page Heading ensuring it is based on the Heading 1 style.
  6. TOC Issue Step 3
  7. Click OK to close the New Style window
  8. Select the text that you don’t want to appear in the table of contents, but still have a heading-type style. Once selected, apply the new style using the icon for the new style in the Styles section of the Home Ribbon.
  9. TOC Issue Step 4
  10. Then, while the text is still selected, go to the References Ribbon and select Add Text > Do Not Show in Table of Contents from the Table of contents section on the far left hand side
  11. TOC Issue Step 5
  12. Once this is done, you can refresh the table of contents by selecting it, right-click and select Update Field.
  13. TOC Issue Step 6
  14. Select the option to Update entire table and click OK.
  15. TOC Issue Step 7

The Table of Contents should no longer show the unrequired headings from the front page

TOC Issue Step After

Comments For This Page

Very helpful - much appreciated!
By Sara on 21st June 2017
Simple and well explained. Helped me with my Word report table of contents.
By Dot on 23rd May 2017
Thank you!
On 28th February 2017
Thank you!
By Chaya Mushka on 26th June 2016
On 26th October 2015

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