Published On: Sun, Jun 10th, 2012

How to Create a Table of Content from Multiple Word 2010 documents

Thinking about creating single table of contents that combines different headings from multiple word documents?

Microsoft Word 2010 master document feature allows you to create a single table of contents combining headings from multiple word documents. Using this feature you can easily create a table of contents in a separate word file from various word documents. However, this feature also enables you to create single word document file from multiple files or split a single file into various files.

 How to create one table of contents from multiple Word 2010 documents?

You need to create an individual separate file for your table of contents that is indicating in the below screen shot. This file contains table of contents.

You need to click on the insert tab. In the Text group, click on the quick parts and then select the field from the drop-down menu as shown in below screen shot.

The field dialog box appears, so scroll down in the “Please choose a field box” and select the Reference document, RD. Then insert the name of your word document in the “Field properties box”, which has to be added in the table of contents. Although you need to provide full path of your word file if it is not in the same directory. Select the “Path is relative”, if your word file is already placed in the same directory of table of contents. Then click on the ok.

You can click on the paragraph symbol button in order to display the hidden text in your document, if you can’t see the field code.

You need to follow the same instruction for every word document you wish to add in the table of contents.

Put your mouse cursor right at the beginning of first field code and then press the enter key. This can be done when you want to add table of contents right at the start of your document. Afterwards, click on the reference tab and select table of contents in the table of contents group. However, you can select the “automatic table” option.

In order to see the table of content, you need to put the cursor in the field code and then press the combination of ALT + F9. However, you need to do some manual working in order to change the starting page number for each of the documents you have added in order to update all of your added documents with correct page numbers.

Open your second document you have added in the table of contents. If you can’t see page numbers, click on the insert tab on the ribbon and in the Header and Footer group click on the Page number. However, you can select page number style of your choice.

In order to change the start page number, you can click on page number and format the page numbers. Both screen shots showing you how to format page numbers.


You can repeat the same steps for changing the starting page numbers for all of your documents.

Following dialog box will appear if you wish to update just the page numbers in the entire table including addition or deletion of headings. Just select your desire option and press ok.

The changes you made in individual documents will be reflecting as shown in below screen image.

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  1. Zoha Ahmed says:

    An excellent article indeed. Your website is providing quality learning stuff. Thanks for sharing such informative material.

  2. I am trying to follow your instructions for TOC for multiple word docs. When I insert TOC it gives me an error message that says Error! Cannot open file referenced on page. What am I doing wrong?

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