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Formatting your Thesis and Dissertation:Tools,Tips and Troubleshooting

Editing Table of Contents or Table of Figures

Table of contents

 To insert a Table of Contents, place the cursor on the first page after the title page, then on the Ribbon Bar click on References.

Click on Table of Contents then select the style you want from the inbuilt list or choose ‘Custom Table of Contents’.


Custom Table of Contents presents the dialog box where you can choose the number of levels. Remove the check next to Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers – it reduces the headaches of formatting the table of contents correctly later. Be sure there are checks for Show page numbers and Right Align page numbers; the Tab leader box should show dots, the Formats should be from template.


When Word asks if you want to replace the selected Table of Contents, click on OK.

Word creates a Table of Contents with the correct order, page numbers and general formatting;

The numeric format:


Updating page numbers

If later on, you need to update the page numbers in the ToC without changing the words or their formatting, on the References ribbon, Table of Contents group, click Update Table; choose Update page numbers only.

Most Common issue when having problems with Table of Contents is that Headings included in the template weren’t used or did not create Headings if they worked without the template.(Page 29 of Step by Step Guide)