InDesign Table of Contents

It can be helpful to create a table of contents at the beginning of a document, with links to the destinations within the document. Users with or without differing accessibility needs can benefit from them.

Generate the Table of Contents from the Heading Structure

InDesign uses paragraph styles as the basis for its method of creating a table of contents. You need to designate which styles to include in the table of contents.

  1. To create a table of contents, in the main menu select Layout > Table of Contents.
    Screenshot of the table of contents menu item
  2. Once the dialog is open, designate which paragraph styles to use as the basis for creating the table of contents by selecting the styles in the “Other Styles” box, then selecting the “Add” button to move them over to the other column, labeled as “Styles in Table of Contents.”
    Note: In the example shown below, all of the headings were given names that matched the tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). When you include the heading level in the style name like that, it makes it easy to tell which styles are linked to headings.
    Screenshot of the table of contents options
  3. Important: Select the checkbox for “Create PDF Bookmarks” to enable navigation to the headings in the exported PDF file.

It’s usually a good idea to also check the option to “Make text anchor in source paragraph,” because that gives you the ability to create other links within the document to the headings, in addition to the links generated in the table of contents.