How to Make a Table of Contents in Google Docs
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Google Docs is a widely-popular cloud-based word processing application. It offers a range of features, is very simple and easy to use, and is completely free.
Whether you use Google Docs for personal use, such as keeping a journal, making lists, or for professional use, such as drafting letters or creating documents, it is always important to keep things organized.
Moreover, if you are a power-user of Google Docs and regularly create lengthy texts or documents, organizing them in a standardized manner becomes extremely important.
However, you need to convey the organization of the content to your readers. Hence, adding a Table of Contents at the beginning of your Google Docs document is crucial.
- Why should we add a Table of Contents in Google Docs?
- How to Make a Table of Contents in Google Docs: Step-by-Step Guide
- How to update Table of Contents in Google Docs
- How to add Headings for Table of Contents
Why should we add a Table of Contents in Google Docs?
Including a Table of Contents in your Google Docs document is essential, because it makes for easier reading, and:
- It helps readers gain an understanding of what the document is about.
- It provides a general outline of the document's structure and contents.
- A table of contents helps readers save precious time by looking for what they need and jump right to it, instead of scrolling up and down repeatedly.
- A well-laid-out table of contents also gives your document a professional look.
Furthermore, it is very easy to make a table of contents in Google Docs, and it can be done within seconds.
How to Make a Table of Contents in Google Docs: Step-by-Step Guide
Making a table of contents in Google Docs is quite easy. This step-by-step guide will help you learn how to make a Table of Contents in Google Docs easily and keep your document organized.
Note: Before proceeding, it is important to note that Google Docs offers an in-built option to create a table of contents. This option shows all the headings (H1, H2, H3...) present in the document automatically in the table of contents.
Step 1. Click on the line where you want the Table of Contents to appear.
Step 2. Click on 'Insert' → 'Table of Contents'
Step 3. Select 'With page numbers' or 'With blue links' as per your preference. (1 and 2 as shown in the image).
That's it. As shown below, Google Docs will add a table of contents to the document wherever you'd kept the insertion point.
The table of contents below is the 'With page numbers' type. As seen, the page number of the corresponding heading is displayed at the right hand side of the box.
The table of contents below is the 'With blue links' type. It adds a hyperlink to the corresponding heading, so readers can easily navigate within the document with a single click.
How to update Table of Contents in Google Docs
Suppose you've created a Table of Contents, and then add more headings or modify the headings in the document, Google Docs doesn't automatically update the Table of Contents.
However, you can update it easily by clicking on the table of contents box and then clicking on the icon at the top-left corner. (It looks like a 'Refresh' icon).
Shown below is the updated table of contents. (After adding a new heading 'Chapter 6' in the document).
To delete the Table of Contents, right-click on the box and select 'Delete Table of Contents'.
How to add Headings for Table of Contents
As mentioned, when making a Table of Contents in Google Docs, it lists all the headings in your document in the table of contents. To add/ change headings, simply follow these steps:
Step 1. Select the text which you want to convert to a heading.
Step 2. Click on the box which says 'Normal Text' → Select the appropriate heading.
Step 2. Click on 'Format' → 'Paragraph styles' → Select the appropriate heading → Select 'Apply Heading_'