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How to Create a Table of Contents

January 1, 20243 min read

Since its release, Google Docs has become the top online word-processing utility worldwide. It offers many formatting features like text formatting, paragraph formatting, list shortcuts, and much more.

Google Docs also includes a “Table of Contents” option for organizing a large and long document. Additionally, it creates an index-like concise list of contents to ease your navigation through documents in Google Docs. However, many beginners do not know the basic and advanced features to create a “Table of Contents”. So, this tutorial is all about in-depth information on how to create and add a “Table of Contents” in Google Docs.

How to Create a Table of Contents in Google Docs

Creating a “Table of Contents” or TOC is easy in Google Docs, and you can easily insert it from the menu bar at the top of its user interface. Additionally, there are three types of TOC formats available in Google Docs:

    1. plain text format
    2. dotted format
    3. link format

The “Table of Contents” is automatically generated from the outline of your document which means it requires appropriate headings from H1 to H6. Otherwise, you may not get accurate results in TOC. Let's now take an example for adding different types of “Table of Contents”:


First, open a Google Docs document and click on the row where you want to add a “Table of Contents.” Now, go to “Insert” from the “Menu Bar”, and scroll down to find the “Table of Contents” option.


Select one of these three options to add a “Table of Contents”. In this part, let's use the “plain text” format.


As shown in the previous image, we successfully created TOC in our document. You can convert the current type of “Table of Contents” into different formats.

Plain text is the standard format that maps title headings to their corresponding page numbers. You can use it to index official documentation, books, fiction, and other reading materials.

It is an improved version of the plain text format that uses dots to connect title headings to page numbers which enhances its overall visual presentation.

The link format creates a “table of contents” with heading headings that are hyperlinked within the document so you can easily navigate to a section with a simple click. You can use this format to prepare your content for websites. For example, the link format is often used in blogs, articles, troubleshooting guides, and other Web-based content.

conclusion

Creating a “table of contents” is essential for long documents as it simplifies navigation. “Table of contents” is also mandatory in technical documentation as it is an integral part of formatting. In this tutorial, we also explained about its three types of formats and their applications on different documents. We recommend that you format your document with proper headings and subheadings before adding the “Table of Contents” to achieve correct results.

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