Create Table Of Contents In Adobe Pdf

admin 1/7/2022

A table of contents (TOC) can list the contents of a book, magazine, or other publication; display a list of illustrations, advertisers, or photo credits; or include other information to help readers find information in a document or book file. One document may contain multiple tables of contents—for example, a list of chapters and a list of illustrations.

Use the link tool ('ToolsContent EditingAdd or edit link') to add links to your table of contents that will bring you to the appropriate page when somebody clicks on a table entry. MS Word will do all this automatically if you use the PDFMaker to convert from Word to PDF (that's the Acrobat item on the Word toolbar/ribbon). Karl Heinz Kremer.

Each table of contents is a separate story consisting of a heading and a list of entries sorted either by page number or alphabetically. Entries, including page numbers, are pulled directly from content in your document and can be updated at any time—even across multiple documents in a book file.

The process for creating a table of contents requires three main steps. First, create and apply the paragraph styles you’ll use as the basis for the TOC. Second, specify which styles are used in the TOC and how the TOC is formatted. Third, flow the TOC into your document.

Table of contents entries can be automatically added to the Bookmarks panel for use in documents exported as Adobe PDF.

Considerthe following when planning a table of contents:

  • Sometables of contents are built from content that does not actuallyappear in the published document, such as a list of advertisersin a magazine. To do this in InDesign, enter content on a hiddenlayer and include it when generating a TOC.

  • You can load TOC styles from other documents or books tobuild new tables of contents with the same settings and formatting.(You might need to edit an imported TOC style if the names of paragraphstyles in the document do not match those in the source document.)

  • You can create paragraph styles for the table of contents’title and entries, including tab stops and leaders, if desired.You can then apply these paragraph styles when you generate thetable of contents.

  • You can create character styles to format the page numbersand the characters separating them from the entries. For example,if you want the page numbers to be in bold, create a character stylethat includes the bold attribute, and then select that characterstyle when you create the table of contents.

Forbest results, be sure to do the following before creating a tableof contents for a book:

  • Before you create a table of contents, verify that thebook list is complete, that all documents are listed in the correctorder, and that all headings have been formatted with the appropriateparagraph styles.

  • Be sure to use paragraph styles consistently throughout thebook. Avoid creating documents with styles that have identical namesbut different definitions. If multiple styles have the same namebut different style definitions, InDesign uses the style definitionin the current document (if a definition exists there), or the firstoccurrence of the style in the book.

  • If the necessary styles do not appear in the pop‑up menusin the Table of Contents dialog box, you may need to synchronizethe book so that the styles are copied to the document containingthe table of contents.

  • If you want number prefixes (such as 1-1, 1-3, and so on)to appear in your table of contents, use section numbering ratherthan chapter numbering. Section number prefixes can be includedin a table of contents.

Before you generate a table of contents, decide which paragraphs should be included (such as chapter titles and section headings), and then define paragraph styles for each. Make sure that these styles are applied to all appropriate paragraphs in the document or booked documents.

When you generate the table of contents, you can also use paragraph and character styles to format the table of contents.

Adobe Table Of Contents Pdf

Table of contents without paragraph styles (left) and withparagraph styles applied to entries (right)

Ifparagraphs that are to be included in the table of contents appearin different stories on the same page, their order in the TOC isdetermined by their position on the page.

    • If you’re creating a table of contentsfor a single document, you may want to add a new page at the beginningof the document.

    • If you’re creating a table of contents for multipledocuments in a book, create or open the document to be used forthe table of contents, make sure that it’s included in the book,and then open the book file.

  1. If you’ve defined a TOC style that has the appropriatesettings for your TOC, you can choose it from the TOC Style menu.

  2. In the Title box, type a title for your TOC (such as Contents or List of Figures).This title will appear at the top of the table of contents. To formatthe title, choose a style from the Style menu.
  3. Select Include Book Documents to create a single tableof contents for all documents in the book list, and to renumberthe book’s pages. Deselect this option if you want to generate atable of contents for the current document only. (This option isdimmed if the current document is not part of a book file.)
  4. Determinewhich content you want to include in the table of contents by double-clickingparagraph styles in the Other Styles list to add them to the IncludeParagraph Styles list.
  5. Select Replace Existing Table Of Contents to replaceall existing table of contents stories in the document. Deselectthis option if you want to generate a new table of contents, suchas a list of figures.
  6. Specify options to determine how each paragraph style in the table of contents is formatted.


    It’s a good idea to define a TOC stylethat contains the formatting and other options for your table ofcontents, especially if you want to include multiple TOCs in yourdocument. To do so, click Save Style. You can also create TOC stylesby choosing Layout > Table Of Contents Styles.

  7. A loaded text cursor appears.Before you click or drag, you can move to a different page or createa new page without losing the loaded text.

  8. Click or drag the loaded text cursor on a page to placethe new table of contents story.


Create Table Of Contents In Adobe Pdf

Avoid threading the TOC frame to othertext frames in the document. If you replace the existing TOC, theentire story will be replaced by the updated TOC.

UseTOC styles if you need to create different tables of contents inyour document or book. For example, you can use one TOC style fora list of contents and another for a list of advertisers, illustrations,or photo credits. Create a TOC style for each type of list.

CreatingTOC styles are also useful if you want to use the same TOC formattingin another document.


Don’t confuse TOC styleswith paragraph styles that have a “TOC” prefix. TOC-prefixed paragraphstyles (for example “TOC title”) are used to format the table of contentsentries themselves. In contrast, a TOC style is a collection ofsettings used to automatically create a table of contents.

  1. In the Title box, type a title for your TOC (such as Contents or List of Figures).This title will appear at the top of the table of contents. To specifya title style, choose a style from the Style menu.
  2. From the Other Styles list, selectthe paragraph styles that represent content you want to includein the table of contents, then click Add to add them to the IncludeParagraph Styles list.
  3. Specify options to determine how each paragraph style is formatted.

  1. Click Load, select the InDesign file containing the TOCstyles you want to copy, and then click Open.


If the paragraph styles in your documentdo not match the paragraph styles in the TOC style you import, you’llneed to edit the TOC style before generating a table of contents.

When generating or editing a table of contents,use these options to determine the appearance of the generated tableof contents text. Some of these options are available only whenyou click More Options in the dialog box.


Thesettings in the Style section apply only to the style currentlyselected under Include Paragraph Styles. You can specify differentformatting options for each style.

For each style in Include Paragraph Styles, choose a paragraphstyle to apply to the associated table of contents entries.

You might want to create a character style that formats thepage number. You can then select this style in the Style pop‑uplist to the right of Page Number. (See Addparagraph and character styles.)

If you want the pagenumbers of the TOC to include prefixes, or to use a different numberingconvention, see Definesection numbering.

Between Entry And Number Specify which characters you want between the table of contents entry and its page number. The default is ^t, which tells InDesign to insert a tab. You can choose other special characters, such as Right Indent Tab or Em Space, in the pop‑up list.


Select the existing text in the box before you choose a different special character, to make sure that you don’t include both characters.

You might want to create a character style that formats the space between the entry and the page number. You can then select this style in the Style pop‑up list to the right of Between Entry And Number. (See Add paragraph and character styles.)

If the entry’s paragraph style includes a tab leader setting, and if the tab character (^t) is selected, a tab leader appears in the generated table of contents.

You can specify a character that separates an entry and pagenumber, as well as a style to apply to a character.

Select this option to sort table of contents entries in the selected style alphabetically. This option is useful for creating simple lists, such as lists of advertisers. Nested entries (Level 2 or 3) sort alphabetically within their group (Level 1 or 2, respectively).


The sort order for a table of contents is determined by the document’s default language setting. To change the default language setting, make sure nothing is selected and then choose a language from the Language menu in the Character panel.

By default, each item added to the Include Paragraph Stylesbox is set one level lower than the item immediately above it. Youcan change this hierarchy by specifying a new level number for theselected paragraph style. This option adjusts only the display inthe dialog box. It has no effect on the final table of contentsunless the list is alphabetized, in which case the entries are sortedby level.

Select this option if you want the table of contents entriesto appear in the Bookmarks panel of Adobe Acrobat orAdobe Reader® when the document is exportedto PDF.

Select this option if you want all TOC entries to be runinto a single paragraph. A semicolon followed by a space (;) separates the entries.

Selectthis option only if you want the paragraphs on hidden layers tobe included in your table of contents. This is useful when creatinga list of advertisers or illustrations that may not appear as visibletext in the document itself. Deselect this option when you’ve usedlayers to store various versions or translations of the same text.

If your table of contents includes a paragraph style that usesnumbering, specify whether the TOC entry includes the full paragraph(both number and text), only the numbers, or only the paragraph.

Specify the writing direction for the text frame you willuse to create a table of contents.

Entries in a table of contents are often formattedwith dots or tab leaders separating the entry from its associatedpage number.

  1. To update the table of contents settings, do one of thefollowing:
    • Choose Layout > Table Of ContentsStyle. Select a TOC style, and click Edit.

    • Choose Layout > Table Of Contents (ifyou are not using a TOC style).

  2. Under Include Paragraph Styles, select an item you wantto appear with a tab leader in the table of contents.
  3. For Entry Style, select the paragraph style that containsthe tab leader.
  4. Verify that Between Entry And Number is set to ^t (representinga tab). Click OK or Save to exit.
  5. Update the table of contents, if necessary, by choosingLayout > Update Table Of Contents. Otherwise, placethe new table of contents story.
  1. ChooseWindow > Styles > Paragraph Styles to displaythe Paragraph Styles panel.
  2. In the Paragraph Styles panel, do one of the following:
    • Double-click the name of the paragraphstyle applied to entries in your table of contents.

    • From the panel menu, choose New Paragraph Style.

  3. Enter a name, if necessary, for the paragraph style.
  4. Select the right-justified tab icon , andthen click on the ruler to position the tab stop.

    If the paragraphs you’re applying the style to includenumbered list items, make sure that you include two tab settings— the first for the indented number and the second for the tab leader.

  5. Select other style options as desired, and click OK.

Thetable of contents is like a snapshot of content in your document.If page numbers in your document change, or if you edit headingsor other elements associated with table of contents entries, you’llneed to regenerate the table of contents to update it.

  1. Open the document containing the tableof contents.
    • To make changes to table of contents entries,edit your document or booked documents, not the table of contentsstory itself.

    • To change the formatting applied to the table ofcontents title, entries, or page numbers, edit the paragraph orcharacter styles associated with these elements.

    • To change how pages are numbered (for example, 1,2, 3 or i, ii, iii), change section numbering in the document orbook. (See Numberpages, chapters, and paragraphs in a book.)

    • To specify a new title, include other paragraphstyles in the table of contents, or further format table of contentsentries, edit the TOC style.

  2. Select or place the insertion point in the text framecontaining the table of contents, and then choose Layout >Update Table Of Contents.
  3. If you have multiple tables of contents in your document,such as a list of figures and a list of advertisers, select thetext frame containing a different list, and then choose Layout >Update Table Of Contents.

Ifyour table of contents requires editing, edit the actual paragraphsin the document—not the table of contents story—and then generatea new table of contents. If you edit the table of contents story,you’ll lose your revisions when you generate a new table of contents.For the same reason, you should edit the styles used to format thetable of contents entries, rather than formatting the table of contentsdirectly.

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