Sever the Link to the Table of Contents So it Won’t Get Replaced
There’s just no way around it: Sometimes you have to edit a table of contents that you’ve generated (using Layout > Table of Contents)… and sometimes you have to edit it a lot. For example, perhaps you want some special order to the paragraphs that is different than the way it appears in the document pages. Or you want to edit the text a lot. Or you want to remove a bunch of shift-returns that snuck in.
But once you edit the TOC, your changes are in danger of being wiped out. It just takes someone choosing Layout > Update Table of Contents and all your work is gone. Gah. So how can you sever the connection to the table of contents, so that the Update feature (and the Replace Existing Table of Contents feature) doesn’t work anymore?
The answer is surprisingly simple: Select all the text in the table of contents story, cut it to the clipboard (Cmd+X), delete the text frame, then paste the TOC into a new text frame. It’s the frame, not the story, that is linked! So getting rid of that frame (or even just the first frame, if it’s a multi-page, threaded TOC) will sever it.