Google Docs, a web-based word processor, offers a multitude of features to the users. Several users switched to Google Docs after it was launched and its user base has grown exponentially over the years.

Adding a ‘Table of Contents’ to a document helps both the writer and readers to identify the various topics and contents. You can access a specific section by clicking on the relevant option in the ‘Table of Contents’. Also, adding a ‘Table of Content’ is way easier than writing them all out manually.

To add a ‘Table of Content’, you will have to format the document accordingly by selecting the appropriate headings. In the absence of inbuilt Google Docs headings, the table of contents feature wouldn’t work. Text, titles, and subtitles do not appear in the ‘Table of Content’.

Add Headings to your Document

Before you make the ‘Table of Contents’, add headings to your document. Moreover, select a different level of headings from the available options since the ‘Table of Contents’ is indented accordingly.

Highlight the text to format it to heading and then click on the ‘Styles’ icon in the toolbar.

Next, select a heading from the list of options in the drop-down menu. Once you select a heading, the text is formatted instantly and its font size changes accordingly. There’s also a keyboard shortcut for the various headings. For instance, you want to format the text to ‘Heading 1’, press CTRL + ALT + 1. Similarly for ‘Heading 2’, press CTRL + ALT + 2, and likewise for the other headings, by pressing the heading number as the last key.

Similarly, add more headings to the document at the required places and format them accordingly. In the above example, we have formated the first one to ‘Heading 1’ while those under it to ‘Heading 2’ and some sub-points to ‘Heading 3’.

Adding Table of Contents

Table of Contents is generally added to the first page in most cases, or the second page if you have the title on the first one. There are two types of ‘Table of Contents’, one with page numbers and the other with hyperlinks.

The first one mentions the page number of all the sections/subsections while the second one has hyperlinks to directly jump to the relevant section. If you plan to print the document, select the one with page numbers and select the one with blue links if you plan to share the document over the web.

To add a ‘Table of Contents’ to the document, place the text cursor at the desired position in the document and click on the ‘Insert’ menu in the ribbon at the top.

Next, select ‘Table of Contents’, the last option in the dropdown menu. You can now select either of the types from the menu that pops-up. The first one is ‘With page numbers’ while the second one is ‘With blue links’.

Table of Contents with Page Numbers

If you select the first one, it will look like the one in the image below where all the headings are mentioned and are indented. The main heading or ‘Heading 1’ is a the top in bold text while the ‘Heading 2’ is in normal text and slightly indented. Similarly, ‘Heading 3’ is indented in relation to the other two, and the font size is comparatively smaller. You can also find the page numbers of each of the headings to their right.

You can jump to any of the headings mentioned in the ‘Table of Contents’ by selecting it and then clicking on the link that appears. Moreover, you can also copy the link, edit it or remove it from the table of contents by selecting the appropriate option at the right.

Table of Contents with Hyperlinks

In this case, the contents are all hyperlinks to the corresponding headings in the document and you can jump to them as we did in the earlier case. One of the stark differences between the two types of ‘Table of Contents’ is the absence of page number in the second case.

Updating Table of Contents

The ‘Table of Contents’ does not update automatically when you make edits to the headings or add new ones. However, it can be done with a single click after the necessary changes are made. We have already seen how the table of content looked earlier. Let’s now make some changes to the headings in the document and see how the update feature works.

In the document, we will be interchanging the word ‘Paragraph’ in the heading to ‘Para’ all over the document and move all the heading to different pages using the ‘Page Break’ feature.

Related: How to Add a Page on Google Docs

Select the table of content and then on the ‘Upate table of contents’ option at its top-left corner.

It will instantly be updated and all the changes can be easily identified. For instance, check the change in headings and page numbers. The change in headings would apply to the ‘With blue links’ type but the change in page numbers wouldn’t be noticed since it does not mention them.

Formatting Table of Contents

You can easily edit the table of contents, by changing the font size, style and color, and other related aspects. You can also customize the space between lines with the ‘Line Spacing’ icon in the toolbar.

Related: How to Double Space on Google Docs

Highlight the text in the table of contents that you want to format, and select the appropriate icon in the toolbar to make the changes.

Deleting the Table of Contents

Say, you add a table of contents to your document but might have to switch to the other type or delete it altogether. When you delete it, the remaining text in the document will move upwards accordingly to occupy the free space. You can also add another one anytime you want at the same position or a different one.

To delete the table of contents, right-click on it and then select ‘Delete table of contents’, the last option on the menu.

Voila! You now know everything there’s about the ‘Table of Contents’ and can easily make, edit, update and delete one with ease in no time. This will certainly help you in lengthy documents where readers may get lost while finding the various sections and sub-sections.