How to add table of contents in Google docs

How to add table of contents in Google docs

In this tutorial, we will see how to add table of contents in Google docs, table of contents google docs.

Google Docs is a completely free, cross-platform website that synchronizes documents across phones, tablets, and desktops with a word processor that works both online and offline. All you need is just a Google account.

What is a table of contents?

A table of contents in google docs is for navigating to a section of your google document quickly. You can navigate to the titled sections of your google docs that use heading styles since the table of content is linked to the titles of docs. 

Advantages of using the Table Of Contents in Google docs

  • A Google Docs table of contents apart from showing the list of topics, it also provides jump links that help you to navigate.
  • A document with a table of contents has a more professional appearance.
  • Table of Contents will give a roadmap for your content.
  • Table of Contents will remain even after converting into a PDF or Word document.
  • If you are creating a HyperDoc with lots of stuff in it, eBooks, or your own adventure books, it is easy to jump to different units with google docs.

It is a very easy process to make your own table of contents, add content, subtract content, and even update.

Below are the step-by-step instructions for creating and updating a table of contents in Google Docs.

You may like the following Google docs tutorials:

How to add a Table of contents in Google docs (3 Simple Ways)

The Table of Contents is the best way to display individual sections with their page numbers for easy access when you are working with large content.

How to make a table of contents in google docs

There are several ways you can create a Table Of Contents.

They are

  • Table Of Contents using formatting
  • Table Of Contents using Bookmarks
  • Table Of Contents using Document Outline (Sidebar)

Table of Contents using formatting

The most common way you can insert a Table Of Contents in your Google Doc is only after you will ensure that all of your subheadings in your Google Docs documents are properly formatted with specific heading tags. You have to highlight your subheadings in the formatting bar.

Formatting Google Docs Table of Contents

You can insert the table of contents in Google Docs with the help of the standard text format of your document.

Click on the Format menu –> select paragraph styles

add table of contents in google docs
Google Docs add table of contents

Google docs table of contents levels (Headers)

You can create the table of contents after you have your headings and the sub-headings.

As a basic rule, You should mention the title on the Heading 1 tag, Put your subheadings on your Heading 2 tags, and specify the sections below your subheadings on your Heading 3 tags.

First, place your cursor where you want your Table of Contents to appear or hold the cursor where you wish to insert your table of content.

The top-level headers whether you start with Heading 1 or Heading 2 are flush with the left margin. Next level headers will be indented accordingly.

Two available types of Table of Contents

Click Insert –> Select the Table of contents to choose the type of table of contents as per your requirement.

how to table of contents google docs

1) Blue Links: If you want to share the document electronically, it will be useful since you can able to see the links.

2) Page Numbers: It will be useful for printed edition documents or books.

Google Docs Table Of Contents numbering

Page numbers make your document easy to navigate, help to identify the chapters in the Table of Contents, and also helps for printed versions.

How to make a table of contents in google docs with page numbers

To include page numbers, simply select the numbered option when inserting a table of contents from the Insert menu.

Click Insert > Select Table Of Contents > Page Number

Google Docs Table Of Contents links

Creating a Table Of Contents Using the Google Docs Table of Contents feature will help you create a clickable Table of Contents which has headings hyperlinked to the relevant pages in the same docs.

This makes readers navigate easily to the chapter they want by clicking on the chapter name on the Table Of Contents page.

Table Of Contents using Bookmarks

You can also create a clickable Table of Contents in Google Docs using Bookmarks.

Steps to follow :

  1. First, select title or subtitle that you wish to include in your Table of Contents. 
  2. Click Insert > Bookmark 
how to make a table of contents in google docs with page numbers
table of contents in google docs

3. Right-click on the text link and then copy that particular link address.

4. select the chapter name on the table of Contents page.

5. You can also use the shortcut key “Ctrl+K” for inserting the link that you have copied.

6. You can now jump to the required topic.

There are a few different ways to do the same.

Table Of Contents using Document Outline

Document Outline is the most convenient way but this won’t work for creating links in your document itself. It helps to quickly navigate the document.

Google docs: table of contents sidebar

An outlining tool creates a table of contents automatically in the sidebar and you can click on that to easily navigate throughout your document.

If you as a user want to see the document outline, then click on View and select the Show Outline option otherwise you won’t able to see the document outline option.

You need to enable the sidebar to view the document outline that looks very same as the Table of Contents in Google Docs.

To view your document outline, you just need to enable the left sidebar.

Click on the Show document outline option 

table of contents google docs template
table of contents google docs

Now you can able to see the document outline on the left.

How to update Table of Contents?

One important point to note down here is, that the moment you modify your Google Docs document, for instance, you are trying to update your header or you are adding any new topic to your document, it won’t update the table of contents automatically.

To update the table of contents in your Google Docs document, you are supposed to scroll to the exact section where you have inserted the new topic and then you need to click on the table of contents area. now you will find a circular arrow which is the refresh button that appears on the top left corner of your Table Of Contents.

To incorporate all of the changes you’ve actually made to your document, select this refresh icon that updates the Table of Contents.

An alternative way of refreshing is

Right-click >pop-up>Update

This makes the contents updated in your document. This is how to update the table of contents in google docs.

How To Add Dots In Table Of Contents Google Docs

Well, we are always interested to add the dots in the table of contents in Google docs. There is no direct way that Google Docs is providing us. But not that it is possible using the below workarounds.

  1. The first step is to remove the dots if you have added them manually to your table of contents.
  2. Click on the View menu –> Click on the Show ruler option. You can able to see a tick mark before the Show ruler option, which means the ruler is visible.
Add Dots In Table Of Contents Google Docs
Google Docs create table of contents

3. As a next step, click on the Ruler and select the “Add right-tab stop” option as highlighted below.”

How To Add Dots In Table Of Contents Google Docs

4. Now, From your keyboard, press the tab key before the number and now you will notice that it will right-align

5. Now Manually, insert the dots or dash in between the number and text. For a better look, you can leave one or two empty spaces after the text and before the number.

This is How To Add Dots/dashes In Table Of Contents Google Docs or how to make dots for table of contents google docs.

Google docs table of contents template

Google Docs is a powerful productivity tool that allows you to create a number of different documents, including a table of contents.

The structure of a table of contents document can be difficult to create sometimes as there are many word processing applications. 

Fortunately, there is zero cost available table of contents templates in Google Docs that we can use for our mere purpose.

Once you have opened the template you can begin customizing the template to suit your own needs. Google Docs offers many document templates that you can use to save time and effort if you don’t want to start with the standard blank page.

Google docs table of contents not working

If you are facing any issue working with the table of contents or your Google docs table of contents not working, then you need to make sure that you are in line with the below suggestions.

  1. Make sure to use Headings 1-6 for your titles.
  2. Don’t use the “Title” heading or “SubTitle” heading as they are not going to appear on your table of contents.
  3. Finally, after all the changes, make sure to refresh the Table of contents so that your changes will get reflected.

The above said are the instructions to create Table Of Contents in Google docs and using it in an effective way.