How To Format a TOC

Five years ago, I figured out the maze of formatting a linked Table of Contents for ebook publication. Since then, I’ve had to refer to my post each time I format a new e-novel.  So, I’m reposting the information as I prepare to publish Killer Serve – A Tennis Team Mystery as a Kindle book. I hope this helps you, too.

Mac owners using Apple’s Pages word processing software: Here’s how to format a working Table of Contents linking the index to the chapter headings within the same document.

1) Following your Title page and Copyright page, manually type up a Table of Contents listing each chapter heading, ie: Chapter One. (Using the automatic TOC creator is handy, but you can’t get rid of the page numbers.)  Also include on your list Acknowledgements, About the Author, and other front and back matter you’d like to emphasize. Do not list page numbers when formatting for e-book publication.

2) Go to your first entry in the main body of your document and highlight Chapter One or whatever part of that entry to which the reader should be directed.

3) From the Tool Bar select “Insert” and click on Bookmark. The Inspector drop-down box should appear with the words you highlighted listed in the  box under “Name”. Click on the Plus sign in the lower left corner. (In Pages the Inspector is found at the top right corner of your document. Within Inspector you’ll find “Link” by clicking on the circle with the right-turn arrow.)

4) You’ll highlight and Bookmark every chapter and section you listed in your Table of Contents, but try this method on a few chapters in a sample document first. The words in the text and the words in the TOC don’t have to match to make the link work. For example, my TOC lists “Other Works”, but at the back of my book I highlighted “Next in the series…”. The link works.

5) When Bookmarking is complete, go to Table of Contents and highlight your first listing (Chapter One).

6) Open Inspector and Link (right-turn arrow in a circle) and choose “Hyperlink”.

7) Check the “Enable Hyperlink” box.

8) From the scroll down “Link to:” list, choose “Bookmark”

9) A list of your Bookmarked chapters should appear. Choose the item you’re working with (Chapter One) by clicking on it.

10) That entry in the Table of Contents should turn blue and be underlined. Go on to the subsequent entries one by one and go through the same procedure.

Note: Much is made of using Styles to format chapter headings. It looks nice and is convenient to create identical headings. It’s also necessary when using the automatic TOC creator. It is NOT necessary to get all that right to do a manual TOC and successfully hyperlink and bookmark.

I tested my Table of Contents on Kindle and . . . Eureka! With that mystery solved, I’m on to the next obstacle. Killer Serve will be completely formatted and tested within a few days. When I finally click “Publish,” I plan to kick back and celebrate.

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