How to Make a Table of Contents in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a table of contents in Google Docs is a piece of cake! All you need to do is use the built-in heading styles for your section titles and then insert the table of contents where you want it to appear in your document. With just a few clicks, your document will have a professional-looking table of contents that will make navigating through your document a breeze.

Step by Step Tutorial: Making a Table of Contents in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. A table of contents is essentially an organized list of the sections and subsections in your document, each with a page number that helps readers quickly find information. It’s a neat little roadmap that can save you and your readers a lot of time. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Use Heading Styles for Your Section Titles

Apply heading styles to the titles of the sections in your document.

Google Docs uses headings to determine what goes into your table of contents. The heading styles range from Heading 1 (for main titles) to Heading 6 (for sub-subsections). Make sure you’ve applied these styles consistently throughout your document for the best results.

Step 2: Place Your Cursor Where You Want the Table of Contents

Click at the beginning of the page where you’d like your table of contents to appear.

This is usually at the start of a document, but you can place it wherever you feel is most appropriate. Remember, it’s about making your document easier to navigate.

Step 3: Insert the Table of Contents

Go to the menu bar and click on ‘Insert’, then hover over ‘Table of contents’ and select a style.

There are a couple of styles to choose from – with or without links. If you’re working on a digital document, having links can be incredibly convenient for jumping to specific sections.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a functional table of contents that automatically updates whenever you make changes to your headings. It’s a dynamic feature that reflects any additions or deletions you make, saving you the hassle of manually updating your table of contents.

Tips for Making a Table of Contents in Google Docs

  • Update your table of contents regularly to reflect any changes in your document.
  • Use the same heading style for similar levels of content to maintain consistency.
  • Remember that only text with applied heading styles will appear in your table of contents.
  • For a more detailed table of contents, use subheadings (Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.).
  • You can customize the text of your table of contents, but don’t change the heading styles or it won’t update correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the formatting of the table of contents?

Yes, you can change the font, size, and color of the text in your table of contents, but make sure not to change the heading styles.

What if my document doesn’t have page numbers?

The table of contents will still work without page numbers, but adding them can make your document even easier to navigate.

Can I remove a section from the table of contents?

To remove a section from the table of contents, simply change the heading style of that section to ‘Normal text’.

How do I update the table of contents if I add more content?

Simply click on the table of contents and select the ‘Refresh’ option to update it with your new headings.

What happens if I delete the table of contents?

If you delete the table of contents, you can always add it back in by following the same steps as before. Your headings will still be intact.


  1. Use heading styles for your section titles.
  2. Place your cursor where you want the table of contents.
  3. Insert the table of contents from the ‘Insert’ menu.


A table of contents is more than just a list at the beginning of your document; it’s a navigational tool that can make your work look more professional and be more user-friendly. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily create a table of contents in Google Docs that not only enhances the readability of your document but also improves its overall structure and flow. With the ability to instantly jump to different sections, your readers will thank you for the time you’ve saved them. So why not give it a try? Transform your Google Docs into well-organized, accessible documents today, and see the difference it makes.