Word: Modify Table of Contents tab settingsMay 12, 2009
- an auto-generated Table of Contents (TOC) in your Word document
- changed the page margins for the document — but now the right-aligned tab doesn’t extend to the full width of the new page margins (let’s say the current right-tab setting is 13.5 cm but you want it to be 17 cm)
- a dotted tab leader […] from the TOC entry to the page number on the right, which you want to preserve.
There are probably a couple of ways of adjusting the right tab position, but here’s a method that works for me. The process for doing this in Word 2003 and Word 2007 is similar.
- Click once anywhere in the Table of Contents.
- Open the Table of Contents tab:
- Word 2003: Select Insert > Reference > Index and Tables from the menu. Select the Table of Contents tab.
- Word 2007: Click the References tab, click the Table of Contents button, then select Insert Table of Contents from the bottom of the drop-down menu. The Table of Contents tab is the only tab displayed.
- Click Modify.
- Select TOC 1, then click Modify again.
- Click Format, then select Tabs.
- Select the tab stop position you want to change (e.g. 13.5 cm).
- Click Clear.
- Set a new right tab stop position the same width as the body text of your document (e.g. 17 cm):
- Type 17 cm in the text box at the top.
- Select the Right alignment option.
- Select the 2 (dotted) leader option.
- Click Set.
- Click OK to return to the Modify Style window.
- Click OK again to return to the Style window.
- Repeat steps 4 to 8 for the other styles (TOC 2, TOC 3) that have tab stops you want to modify. Use the same value (e.g. 17 cm) for the right tab stop position for each.
- When you’re finished, click OK to close the Style window.
- Click OK.
- Click OK when you’re asked to replace the Table of Contents.
- Check everything’s as you want it; make further modifications as necessary.
Aligning the left side
In answer to Praveen’s question in the Comments, here’s how to set the various left alignments.
To get something that looks like this:
you’ll need to modify the TOC styles so they are similar to these (all values in cm):
- TOC 1: Paragraph indentation 0 cm; Tab stops 1 cm (left) and 16 cm (right)
- TOC 2: Paragraph indentation 1 cm, hanging 1.25 cm; Tab stops 2 cm (left) and 16 cm (right)
- TOC 3: Paragraph indentation 2 cm, hanging 1.25 cm; Tab stops 3.5 cm (left) and 16 cm (right)
If you want something that looks like this:
then set all the paragraph indentations to 0 cm and the left tab stops to, say, 1.5 cm. (The reason you set them to 1.5 cm is to allow for the extra space taken up by the extra numbers in the Heading 3 level.)