Dynamic toc that populates page numbers in word

Hi there! When I create a ToC and compile into word, the toc shows up but the chapters have question marks instead of page numbers. A message comes up indicating to try to print then cancel – that’s not working for me can anyone help?

Use refresh in Word. I think it’s in the context menu if your cursor is in the toc, or when you select TOC from the outliner view in left column. (I’m not at my computer)

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this doesnn’t help. Where is ’ refresher’ in word? and what is the context menu?

What I’ve had to do in Word is to start the print action and then cancel it. That populates the page numbers in my ToC.

Then, I have to save the changes in Word so that the page numbers are visible when I next open the Word document.

Without saving it, Word will still show the question marks each time the document is opened.

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Thanks for the terminology correction @RMS! My bad for saying refresh - ‘update fields’ is the correct term. I’m still away from my computer.

@liseygwrites - the context menu is the right click menu that shows what options are available for where your cursor/selection is located (its context).

@RuthS - see RMS’s link. You can set the TOC (and other fields) to update on open, saving you a few steps. :wink:

It’s important to remember - if you make additional edits directly in the Word doc, you’d want to “update fields” after any edits as your pagination may change. Also- see the note about broken links, and some idiosyncrasies about tables in RMS’s link.

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The way I’ve updated fields in Word, for decades, in a document “Select All”, then press F9 or right mouse click and pick "update all’. Probably a “refresh button” somewhere but I don’t hunt or know about it. Muscle memory is as described. Simple.

I am four emails in and still no closer to creting a dynamic toc. When I open in word, try to print, then cancel, then save and re-open, I still have question marks instead of page numbers. And still don’t see the refresh or context options. Can you kindly forward screenshots of these steps with the items circled?

Did you review and then use the “update fields” process, as described Microsoft Word’s help page (linked above)? Did that not work? (I ask as you don’t mention it).

I’m working on a mac so I can’t right click

You’re probably just not aware that you actually can. Are we talking about the Magic Mouse or -Trackpad here? (https://support.apple.com/en-us/guide/mac-help/mh35853/mac)

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Macs have had a ‘secondary click’ (as Apple calls it) since Windows 95 made contextual menus obligatory, and have supported mice with multiple buttons since the late '90s. To get around the famine of buttons on their own mice, the action was added as a keyboard modifier: hold down Control on the keyboard, and then click.

And of course, all modern Mac devices have options to add secondary clicking to the interface, as noted above. It’s well worth enabling as most programs, Scrivener included, have a wealth of utility in right-clicking (or ctrl-clicking, if you really can’t stand two finger tap or whatever).


This makes absolutely no sense. Can youkindly share the steps I need to take on a Mac.

The simple answer is that you press the Control key marked with (^) while you click. This is a right click on a mac. There are other ways but this is probably the simplest. You can then use that control click to update the table of contents which should be a field in you word document.

To do this click in the table of contents
then control click.
You will see a menu which says update fields. Click OK

If this gives you the page numbers the problem is solved. If not you will need the guidance of better Scrivener experts than myself. I hope this helps

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Insert a table of contents - Microsoft Support.

above describes how the TOC is entered manually. Scrivener put it in for you. there you will find a link for how to update the TOC.

also numerous advice up thread.

To make sure all page numbers and TOC are updated, do it twice. Picks up any new pagination from the updated TOC

There are lots of web pages and books on how to use Microsoft Word. this is not a Scrivener issue. But once you learn how to right mouse click you can use it to your advantage with Scrivener.

HI RMS - Yes I created a ToC in scrivener. After compiling and exporting, the chapter headings still have question marks following them instead of the corresponding page numbers. Roland above had reco’d I try right clicking in the ToC page, and clicking ’ update fiields’ when the menu pops up. But when I right click in the Top, no menu pops up where I can choose update fields.

Just to be clear i am talking about clicking in the table of contents in the Word document. I hope this helps.

yes I’m in the word doc – but when I Right click, the menu option that you said would populate does not

In that case it sounds like you don’t have a proper table of contents in Word. All the advise you have been getting in this thread assumes that you do have a dynamic TOC, but just not updated. Perhaps you should send your project to LL support to find out why a dynamic TOC is not being created in Word.

I am sorry I cannot think of anything else to suggest.

Click anywhere in the Word document.
Select Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on a Mac)
Press F9.

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