Dynamic table of contents

Google Docs – Create a Table of Contents with Page Numbers or Links

The steps below will show you how to insert a table of contents into your Google Doc with page numbers or links as seen in this linked Google Doc. Both the page number and link options are created using the same steps so the process is virtually identical.

Assuming you already have a document written, the next thing that you do, is you go to Insert -> Table of contents.

Insert table of contents menu option
Insert TOC menu option

If you choose the option with links, a table of contents like the one below is automatically created.

Dynamic table of contents
Dynamic table of contents with links

The table of contents is made dynamically so there may not need to edit it. It is produced from the formatting in your document by using sections and sub-sections. The best way to look at this formatting is through the document outline. Go to Tools and go to Document outline. As shown in the image below, the outline shows where your Title is and where your headers are.

Document styling

Google Docs Outline
Google Docs outline

Keep in mind that tables of contents does not pick up Titles. You will have to add your title manually if you want it to show.

Text tagged as a title
Text tagged as a title

Docs, however, does pick up the usage of the header styles.

Video explanation

Text tagged as a header
Text tagged as a header


The words “In grass lights” are the first words that have a heading tag and they are also the first words that are in the table of contents. If you look at the table of contents and at the outline, some of the items below this first header are indented. That did not happen by creating a Table of contents and hitting tab. The Table of Contents does this automatically because “Kind Replenish” is styled as a heading 2. If I make a Heading 3, it will indent even further to the right.

Formatting a table of contents manually

Formatting your table of contents
Manually formatting your table of contents

You can also format items in the table of contents manually if you want to. However, it’s probably best practice to format it right in your document. If you left-click on the table of contents, and select Change, you can change certain items. You can change the names of the links or remove the link and just keep the text.


The steps above are all you really need to create your table of contents. Once you do it one time, you will be ready to go.

Live examples in Docs

Go tothis Google Doc for an example of a table of contents that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

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