At Printhouse Corporation, books and a company’s annual report are among the favourite things to design and print. Books and annual reports usually consists of a large volume of pages. Hence the large volume of pages, a table of contents is a normality for these kind of projects. The table of contents can also relate to bookmarks when the design/layout is viewed electronically, as a PDF in Adobe Reader.
Adobe® InDesign® is the favourite software to use for doing page layouts, brochures, annual reports and books. One of the nifty tools in InDesign, is to generate the table of contents dynamically from the content in the document.
In this post, I use InDesign to show you how this is done and how this feature also generate bookmarks in a PDF.
Styling Headings, Sub-Heading etc.
When setting up the InDesign file, make sure paragraph styles are set up for all the section headings in the document that need to display in the table of contents. Also add automatic page numbering (Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number) to the master pages.
Setting up the Content Page
Create a text box on an empty page at the front of the document where the Table of Contents need to go. Follow Layout > Table of Contents… to open the Table of Contents panel.
In the Styles in Table of Contents section, select the predefined styles in the right hierarchy, that was used for the headings that needs to be included in the table of contents.
By selecting an added style under Include Paragraph Styles, gives an opportunity to style the entry. This can be done in the next section below, Style: [selected style from above] with a predefined style from the Paragraph Styles list. In most cases you would want the font size of the text in the Table of Contents to be smaller than the font size that was used for the headings in the document. This gives the option to select styles especially created in Paragraph Styles for the entries in the Table of Contents. Or even the default body font can also be an option.
In the last section, Options, select the check box for Create PDF Bookmarks. This will ensure bookmarks for all the sections in the exported PDF, when viewed in Adobe Reader. Also select the Replace Existing Table of Contents, which brings us to the next section.
Update Table of Contents
This option you can find at Layout > Update Table of Contents. It will not be an option until the Table of Contents has been created for the first time. This is where a dynamic Table of Contents becomes handy. As artwork and documents go, there are always changes, sections being moved around, pages that gets added. Simply select this option and the Table of Contents will update, including the page numbers.