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11/30/15
Original Poster
nis

Google Docs: How to show only Heading 1 in table of contents

Hi,

I have an article that has multiple headings and sub headings.  (Heading1, Heading2, Heading3, Heading4)

I added a table of contents (TOC) for the whole article. 

However, it shows all heading levels in table of contents. This makes my TOC huge and about 3 pages long.

I only want my table of content to show heading1 only. 
How can I achieve this? 
How can I modify TOC to show only upto certain heading level and nothing below that?

Please guide.

Thanks,
Nis
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All Replies (10)
Jo S.
11/30/15
Jo S.
Hi, Nis. Thanks for posting to the Google Docs Help Forum. The only way to avoid all headings from being added to the TOC is to manually apply the style you want rather than using the set styles. Change those headers to "Normal" style by select each one individually and pressing Ctrl + \ (Control plus the backslash key). This will remove the formatting. Then manually add the point size, font, and bolding that you want.

To easily copy formatting from one place to another, you can use the Paint Tool. So once you manually change one heading, you can use the Paint Tool to change others that are the same level heading.

How to Copy Formatting in Google Docs

Google documents lets you copy the formatting you’ve applied to a specific section of text to another section using the paint format tool. To use this tool, select the text that's formatted in the way that you want to copy. Then, click the paint roller icon in your toolbar, and select the text to which you want to apply the formatting. The formatting from the original text will be copied to the selected text.

To change the formatting in multiple places within your document, double-click the paint roller icon. You'll enter a mode that lets you highlight multiple text selections, and apply the same formatting to each selection. When you're done applying formatting to these selections, click the paint roller icon again.

You can also use the paint format tool with keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+Option+C will copy the formatting of the text you've selected, and Ctrl+Option+V will apply any copy that formatting to a different text selection.


Does this answer your question?

Best,
Jo
pstyke
12/27/15
pstyke
I have the same question about reducing the amount of headings that appear in the table of contents.

To go ahead and manually format lower level of headings defeats the whole object of creating styles for headings and paragraphs to format a document so that it looks professional. Also, manually formatting to create headings means that you can very easily miss a couple of items and then your document begins to look very unprofessional.

Are Google going to introduce this missing feature into the table of contents for Google Docs? Definitely needs to be added so that Google Docs can compete can compete with the likes of LibreOffice or MS Office.

With regards

Peter
Jo S.
12/27/15
Jo S.
Hi, Peter. Google doesn't announce new features in advance of their release, nor does it announce which features are being worked on, so no one here could answer that question. However, I encourage you to submit your suggestions and concerns about headings and the TOC directly to the Docs Team. The more requests they receive for a feature, the more likely it is we'll see it in a future update.

How to Submit Feedback or Feature Suggestions for Google Docs
1. Open a Google Docs document.
2. Go to Help > Docs help.
3. Click on Send feedback (at the bottom).
4. Type in your feedback suggestions.
5. Press the blue Send button.

You can also submit feedback directly via Google Drive:
  1. Click the  Settings menu.
  2. Click Help.
  3. Click Send feedback.
Best,
Jo
pstyke
12/28/15
pstyke
Hello Jo

I have submitted feedback already on this feature, which in my opinion is essential to compete with the big boys in office software. Judging by how long this subject of ToC has been going on, it is time google did something about it. Google does supply templates in Google Docs that could easily require a ToC in a good looking format because some people still print documents for distribution.

We will have to wait and see what happens.

With regards

Peter
Jo S.
12/28/15
Jo S.
Thanks for sending in your feedback, Peter. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll get additional features for the TOC in the not-too-distant future.

Please let us know if there's anything else we can assist with.

Best,
Jo

--------------
If my reply helped resolve your issue, please mark it as "best answer" to help others find this solution in the future.


12/29/15
Original Poster
nis
This is not at all a solution or answer to my question. 
You could have simply said google doesn't provide this feature (but there are potential prolonged hacks to manually and unprofessionally attempt to achieve it). 

Gill
12/30/15
Gill
Have you tried editing the created ToC directly? You may be able to delete everything except the Heading1 entries.
Jo S.
12/30/15
Jo S.
Gill, the unfortunate thing is, even if that were to work, each time the TOC would be refreshed, the unwanted headings would reappear.

Best,
Jo
Gill
12/31/15
Gill
Yes, I realise that, but at the final edit stage it might possibly do. It is definitely something Google should consider (i.e. which heading levels are to be included, or some kind of flag for inclusion in the ToC).
That's why it is important to send feedback as Jo suggested above.
Aaron Piccirilli
1/11/16
Aaron Piccirilli
Hi Nis -

I would also love this feature, especially as it is implemented in a number of similar services. Obviously this isn't a proper fix, but another workaround that might be more helpful to you:

Keep your headings as they are, utilizing uniform formatting across headings.

Instead of a table of contents, add a link (Insert -> Link) to each first-level heading that you want. This requires you to do this every time you make a new first-level heading in order to keep your faux-TOC up-to-date. A bummer, obviously, but might be less work than manually formatting lower-level headings, if they're more numerous than first-level headings (which is the case for me). The Insert->Link interface immediately pulls up your headings, so it's not too painful.

Here's hoping that all of these workarounds are unnecessary soon.

Aaron
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