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How To Insert Google Docs Table Of Contents On Side

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Are you looking to create a sidebar table of contents on Google Docs?

A table of content lets you easily view the hierarchy of your documents.

You can also use it to quickly navigate to any section of your document.

There is an in-built function on the word processor that lets you insert a table of content on any page on your document, but you will need a third-party add-on to add a sidebar table of contents.

Here is how to insert a Google Docs table of contents on side, as well as instructions for users that prefer the default, traditional top-of-page table of contents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions people are asking on search engines about adding a sidebar table of contents on Google Doc:

Can You Customize The Table Of Contents In Google Docs?

Unlike Microsoft Word, Google Docs limits you to the default table of contents template.

You will need a third-party add-on to create a custom table of contents on the platform.

Is There A Way To Make Google Docs Side By Side?

There is no in-built split screen view option on Google Docs, but there are workarounds.

One method is to navigate to File > Print and then select two pages from the Pages per sheet field under More settings to view your pages in a split screen in the Print window.

What Is Needed To Add A Sidebar Table Of Contents To Your Documents

Here are the tools you will need to add a custom table of contents to your document:

  • Google Chrome — you can access your Google Doc document on your desktop using any browser, but Google’s purpose-built platform is obviously a more convenient option.
  • A Third-Party Add-On — you need one to create a custom sidebar table of contents and there are good options on Google Workspace Marketplace.

How To Insert A Google Docs Table Of Contents On Side: Step-By-Step Instructions

Follow the two-step process below to add your sidebar table of content:

  1. Add section headers to your content
  2. Insert the table of contents

Step 1: Add Section Headers To Your Content

Your table of contents is generated from the title and headers in your document.

So, you must figure out the structure of your content and format the title of your document with the Heading 1 style.

Other headers should be formatted with Headings 2 to 5.

You will find the header styles under the Styles dropdown (three tabs from the left on the toolbar).

01 google doc header styles

Once you are done styling all the relevant headings, you are ready to insert your sidebar table of contents.

One thing I will like to point out at before moving to the next step is that Google generates an automated sidebar-content-outline for each Google document.

02 google docs automated content outline

If you only intend to use your table of contents to navigate a long document, the automated outline lets you do just that.

You can access it by clicking on the icon located in the grey area on the left side of your document.

03 google docs content outline icon

You can then find your way to any section of your document by clicking on the relevant link text from the content outline.

Step 2: Insert The Table Of Contents

This is the point where you add your custom table of contents using a third-party add-on and you must be on Google Workspace to access the marketplace.

Here is how to go about doing that:

  1. Launch Google Docs from your Google Account or Google Chrome.
  2. Navigate to Add-ons > Get add-ons via the menu bar
  3. That should automatically take you to the marketplace. Type “table of contents” into the search bar and download any relevant top-rated add-on. I will recommend Table of Contents by LumApps.
  4. Now, click on the Add-ons tab again and press Table of contents > Show in Sidebar
  5. A floating sidebar will be added to the right side of your document. It will remain fixed in place as you scroll through your document so you won’t have any need to jump back to the first page to access your outline.

If you are happy with the default on-page table of contents, here is how to add one:

  1. On your open Google Doc, place your cursor on the spot where you want to insert your table of contents
  2. Move over to the menu bar and click Insert > Table of contents
  3. You will then choose between a numbered, plain-text table of contents, and a hyperlinked table of contents
  4. Once you click on one of the options, a table of content will be added to that spot on your page
  5. If you make any subsequent changes to the headers on your page, you can update your outline by clicking on the Refresh symbol at the top left corner of the table
  6. To delete the table, right-click on it, and select Delete table of contents from the pop-up menu

Similar Tutorial Types To Check Out

Wrapping Up

The in-built navigation functions on Google Docs are the automated outline and the on-page table of contents you can add via the menu bar.

To create a custom navigation table, follow the instructions in the article to download a third-party add-on and use it to create your table of contents.

If you have any additional questions about creating a custom table of contents on Google Docs, feel free to ask in the comments section.

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