TOC for section B in section A in a document with 30 sections

Brass Contributor

I had 14 documents and I couldn't figure out how to hardcode Unit 1: Page 1 in the footer, so I sspent 8 hours merging them. It was awful; I have intro pages i, ii, iii (where TOC belongs) then Page 1, 2, 3. Unit 2 restarts at i then 1. I used section breaks to get i and 1 to format nicely. Now how can I get the TOC for the Unit 1 section that starts at 1 to display in the previous section? I've created a nightmare, because it was so hard (or impossible) to add text to footers. Benefit of the merge, I can print 1 doc, but it's truly a nightmare managing complicated documents. I want to be an author, not a Word specialist,, and I'm pretty familiar with it. 


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Another issue: I use multilevel headings. With great pain I got them to work in the individual docs, and the first 2 units are OK in the merged doc. Starting at Unit 3, Heading 1 continues from the previous section to the end of the documnt. I tried to copy the hidden styles character from a working heading 1 to it; no luck.

I've been manually deleting about 150 lines from 12 TOCs to work around this problem, but because of the heading numbering issue, this will no longer work. Really need a guru, even for hire, please.

My multilevel heading is set to "start new list"; no luck. Hardcoded it to 1.

@CaroleSL There is rarely any need to have multiple documents.  Before combining the documents, you need to insert a Next Page Section Break at the end of each document and then copy everything including that Section Break and paste it into the host document.  When you do that the headers\footers in the individual documents will be preserved.


Look into the StyleRef Field.



Multilevel numbering in Word is easy to mess up. It always has been.


Automatic Paragraph Numbering all starts with the Define New List Style Dialog.

You use that to create and name a list style, within that dialog, when you format numbering you go to the Define New MultiLevel List Dialog. The key is to assign a separate existing paragraph style to each level of numbering. The styles can be built-in styles- or custom styles.


If you use automatic paragraph numbering or bullets read Shauna Kelly's directions on numbering and bullets. Start with How to create numbered headings or outline numbering and her parallel page How to control bullets. For large documents you must follow these directions or you will lose your hair!
(Mac version: For styles attached this way, you also control the left indents through the Define New MultiLevel List dialog not the Ruler or the Modify Style dialog.


You first want the paragraph styles existing in your document. These can be built-in styles or custom styles or a mix of the two. You can, if you want, modify their formatting later. Then you go to the Define New List Style (Not Define New MultiLevel List! You will get to that dialog in the process, though.)


This may seem a bit convoluted at first, but it really is not. Just follow the steps. Shauna Kelly's instructions use the built-in heading styles, but you can use any existing paragraph styles including your custom styles. There are, however advantages to using the built-in heading styles when you create a Table of Contents. Here are some more advantages: Why Use Word's Built-In Heading Styles? by Shauna Kelly Note, you can modify these built-in styles to look exactly the way you want.


You want to do this even if what you want is a single-level list if you want the most control over your list.


Videos on this


The basic idea is that the numbering is set using the Define MultiLevel List dialog with each numbering level being attached to an existing paragraph style. Once you have this set up, you should not use the buttons for numbering in the Ribbon but rather apply the appropriate style for that level.


You can save a document with this as a template for future documents if you want so you will not need to do this every time.

@Doug_Robbins_Word_MVP I inserted sections between everything. In fact, there are 2 sections per document so I can number the TOC pages separately. My huge problem is that the TOC is for the full document, not per section, let alone I want the TOC of Unit 1 in section 1 of Unit 1, and its headings to come from section 2 of Unit 1, after which I insert a new section  for TOC of Unit 2 referring to the 4th section,  contents of Unit 2. I spent days combining the docs, and when I printed, all the TOCs that I manually adjusted to just ccover their ssections had error codes and I had to update the fields to the full doc's TOC - exactly what I'd done the work around for. I don't see any way but separate documents for separate TOCs - and it's a pain in the butt, I've merged, updated, fixed and kludged everything, now have to extract it again. Is there an MS solutionn or better software for this?   

I managed to do that with my template and 12 docs. When I merged them everything messed up. Lists continued across sections and won't "start new list." So frustrating.
best response confirmed by CaroleSL (Brass Contributor)

@CaroleSL I am not sure that I understand your requirement.  However, you may find something of use in

If you upload the documents, we can have a look at the issue and advise how to combine them.

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best response confirmed by CaroleSL (Brass Contributor)

@CaroleSL I am not sure that I understand your requirement.  However, you may find something of use in

If you upload the documents, we can have a look at the issue and advise how to combine them.

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