InDesign makes creating a table of contents quite easy provided that you’ve used paragraph styles to format text in your document. That TOC is also properly tagged when exported to PDF. See how it all works by watching this video.
- [Instructor] A Table of Contents is not only beneficial to help sighted users navigate a document, but it's equally beneficial to help non-sighted users and mobility impaired users to navigate a document as well. Fortunately, Adobe InDesign has a Table of Contents feature that takes a lot of the work out of creating a Table of Contents and does the heavy lifting for you. So, we're going to create a Table of Contents in this document. I have the TOC.indd file open, and if we navigate to page two I've created a couple of pages where I want the Table of Contents to go.
Now, to create a Table of Contents in InDesign we're going to come up here to the Layout menu and we're going to choose Table of Contents. Now, it's worth mentioning, as I did in the past, that this feature, just like many others, requires the fact that you've used paragraph styles throughout your document to format your text, and by doing that we give the Table of Contents feature the ability to create Table of Contents entries based on styles that are applied to text throughout our document.
So, this dialogue box can look a little intimidating at first, but it's really not that bad. What I'd like you to do if you see the More Options button, click on that to show all of the options in this section. So, the first thing we want to do here is the title. Basically this is static text and it basically says, you know, what do you want the title of your Table of Contents to be called. So, I'm just going to call mine Contents, that works, and then over here to the right I can choose what style I want to apply to this text.
So, we're going to choose the TOC Header style, and I should point out that you should do a little investigating upfront so you know which styles you're going to be using, because it can get a little cumbersome if you're constantly going in and out of this dialogue box. Now, the next thing we want to do is we want to say what styles have I used throughout the document that contains the text that I want to become entries in my Table of Contents. For our document this is mainly the headings, okay.
So, the first thing I'm going to do is over here where it says Other Styles, I'm going to scrub through this list and I'm going to find the section header style. So, I'm going to go ahead and click Add. It's going to move that over here into the included paragraph styles that we're going to be using. Now, I'm also going to come over here and select Subhead A, click the Add button, as well as Subhead B and click the Add button again, and these are the three paragraph styles that I use throughout my document that I want to extract the text from.
And the next thing we want to do is I'm going to start up here and I'm going to click on Section Header, and now my job is to tell the Table of Contents how I'm going to format the entries that are created when this text is extracted, if you will. So, with Section Header highlighted I'm going to come down here to where it says Entry Style and I'm going to choose TOC Subheader, and I get to choose where I want the page number to occur. I can put it after the entry, I can put it before the entry, or I can say I don't want any page number at all.
I'm going to leave this set to after the entry, and then down here between the entry and the number I can tell it what character I want it to use. By default it uses a Tab character. For flexibility I like to use the Right Align character, and if you click on the drop down menu, right here it is is the Right Indent tab. So, what I'll do is I'll get rid of the caret T and just use the caret Y, and what I'll do to save time is I'll just copy that, that way it'll make it easier, and then I'm going to select Subhead A and the entry style I'm going to use for that is TOC Section A, and I'll go ahead and paste that character in here, and then I'll grab subhead B and that's going to be TOC Section B.
I'll go ahead and paste that character in there as well. Now, down here at the bottom a really important feature that you want to make sure that you enable is the Create PDF Bookmarks, and what that does is basically makes the Table of Contents clickable links, so that when I click on them or when somebody using assisted software gets to that they can navigate to that section. Now, what I also like to do is once I've configured this I'll click on the Save Style button, and I'm going to call this the Landon TOC, and what this basically does it saves this configuration for me so that if I ever want to use it again it's already configured and ready to go.
So, when I click Okay I'm going to get a loaded cursor that contains all of the contents of my Table of Contents, and what I'm going to do is if I just click in the middle of this frame right here on page two it's going to place the Table of Contents and flow it onto the second page as well. Again, just reiterating, this is all based on styles. So, as long as you've created styles in your document and they've been used to format the content, then you also need styles to format what the Table of Contents is supposed to look like as well.
So, what I'll do is I'll do a Save As and I'm going to call this TOC Finish, and then I'm going to go ahead and export this to a PDF, so I'll call this TOC... And when this PDF file opens, first of all, as far as the behavior you'll notice that when you grab the Hand tool each one of these is a clickable link, right. So, if I want to go to, let's say Break Periods I can click on that and it's going to jump to where the break periods are located.
I'm going to go ahead and go back there. The other thing that's really important, and this is a new update in the 2018 release on InDesign CC, is that when you go to your Tags pane, if I go down to this first section, actually this second section, you're going to notice that now the Table of Contents is properly tagged. In the past, InDesign would tag everything as a paragraph, but when you open this up you're going to notice that each one of these items is its own TOCI object.
Within there you've got individual Table of Contents as well, so I opened this one up. See, these are all TOCI objects inside of InDesign. So, it really saves us a lot of, you know, post export remediation that we used to have to do when we exported to PDF out of InDesign. So, take advantage of the Table of Contents feature and let it do the heavy lifting for you.
- What is accessibility?
- The screen reader experience
- Setting up Acrobat DC
- PDF remediation workflow
- Tagging content, including lists and tables
- Adding metadata, bookmarks, and alt text
- Generating a PDF with Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign
- Creating accessible PDFs from PowerPoint and Excel
- Adding hyperlinks
- Controlling tag and reading order
- Adding cross-references and tables of contents