How to Create a Clickable Table of Contents in Google Docs


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Learn how to create a Table of Contents in Google Docs with links that help you organize your content.


Google Docs is one of the most versatile tools available to writers today. It seems basic, yet it is immensely functional.

However, many Google Docs users don’t realize that the tool contains many useful features that enable them to create content more efficiently. A clickable table of content is one such feature in Google Docs. Here’s how you can use it.

How Does a Clickable Table of Contents Work?

Tables of contents are a list at the beginning of any book containing page titles and page numbers.

You might wish to have a clickable Table of Contents if your manuscript contains a lot of pages, as it speeds up the process of moving between sections, rather than making you scroll endlessly.

This allows for easy reading and editing. Also, if you plan to convert the document to a PDF, a clickable Table of Contents is a must-have.

Related: How to Design and Format an Ebook Using Google Docs

How to Create a Table of Contents in Google Docs

  1. Open the Format menu >Paragraph Styles to add headings to your document.
  2. There are six heading styles to choose from. Use Heading 1 for main titles, Heading 2 for sub-sections, Heading 3 for sections under that, and so on.
  3. To correctly label the headings in your Table of Contents, it is important to follow this rule.
  4. To know if you did it correctly, check the Document’s Outline in the left sidebar. If the headings have a slant in each section, then you are in the right place.

    Google Docs menu highlighting the Headings option
  5. Place your cursor where you want to add the Table of Contents and click Insert > Table of Contents.
  6. If you need to adjust the table of contents, select it, and either drag your cursor along it, or cut and paste it.

    Google Docs page showing a generated Table of Contents
  7. If you want to edit the headings in the Table of Contents, edit them in the document body rather than in the table of contents. (You can also add more headings or change the current headings.)
  8. After that, head to the Table of Contents and click the Refresh button. It will reflect your updates in the table.
  9. Also, to delete the Table of Contents, right-click on the table and select Delete.

In addition to creating a Table of Contents, let’s also look at how to make available clickable links within your Table of Contents for easy navigation of your document.

Related: Google Docs Tips That Take Seconds and Save You Time

How to Create a Clickable Table of Contents in Google Docs

There are two ways to add clickable links to a Table of Contents: automatically and manually. Google Docs does everything it can to make features easy to use, and this is no different.

Technically, both functions are automatic, but we’ll call the second method “Manual” because it takes more than one click to complete it.

Method 1: Automatic

  1. Click Insert > Table of Contents.
  2. You’ll see two available types of Table of Contents. The first with page numbers and the other with blue links.
  3. Select the one with the blue links, and you’ll instantly get a table of contents with headings that readers can use to jump right to specific sections of your document.
Google Docs menu with Table of Contents option highlighted

Method 2: Manual

  1. If you need to add links to an existing Table of Contents, simply click on each heading and press Ctrl + K or Command + K to bring up the ‘add links’ menu.
  2. If the texts are similar, the heading you want to link to will usually appear at the top of the suggested links.
  3. If you don’t find the heading you’re looking for, click Headings and Bookmarks at the suggestion box’s bottom. You’ll be able to view all available headings and pick the ones you need.
Google Docs link shortcut to clickable headings

Do More With Google Docs

Without a doubt, Google Docs is a useful tool for writers, regardless of their skill level or needs. Take your productivity to the next level as you discover new features that you didn’t know about before.

10 Things You Didn’t Know Google Docs Could Do

You can be more productive when you know the right way to do things on Google Docs. Let’s look at several features that often get overlooked.

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