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How to Create a Table of Contents for PDF? (The Complete Guide)

If you often go through lengthy documents, you must have wanted a table of contents for PDF like Word. It is because you can easily navigate to a specific part of the document. However, most people don't know they can create a clickable table of contents in a PDF document that works like others. So, stick with us and learn how you can do that for added convenience.

Part 1. How to Add a Table of Contents to PDF Manually?

You can add Table of contents to a PDF document by using UPDF. UPDF is a comprehensive PDF editing, viewing, and sharing platform on Smartphones and computers. It allows you to add a table of contents in PDF like in other documents. Moreover, you can enjoy other editing features, including Text, link, image, annotation, etc. So, download UPDF and try making your table of contents with it using the following steps.

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1. Open PDF in UPDF, Go to Organize Pages and click Insert.

Double-click your UPDF icon to open it and open the PDF document in it. Once it opens, click Organize Pages from the left side and then click Insert from the top many. This way, you can add more pages to a PDF document. Here, we will only insert one page to create Table of Contents for PDF.

insert blank page in pdf updf

2. Add a Blank Page and adjust it to the correct position

As you click Insert, you will see a dropdown from which you must select Blank Page. The page may randomly be added to any part of the PDF document. So, you need to click and hold it, drag the cursor to the first or second page of the document, and then leave the click.

drag the blank page in updf

3. Go to Edit PDF and Click Text

Now Click Edit PDF and click Text from the top menu. It allows you to add text to your PDF documents. While you add text, you can change the font, style, size, and color to make the table of contents look the way you want.

add text in PDF to create table of contents in updf

4. Edit the page to manually insert the Table of Contents

Click anywhere on the page and start typing. You can type according to the content in the PDF document and mention the page number alongside. Since you manually add the table of contents, you may add any additional information.

create table of content in updf manually

Part 2. How to Create a Table of Contents in PDF Automatically?

MS Word is a great option for creating the table of contents automatically. However, you must use UPDF to convert PDF to Word and back to PDF. So, download UPDF and try making your table of contents automatically with the following steps:

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1. Open PDF in UPDF and use Export PDF to convert it to a Word document

Start the UPDF program on your PC and open the PDF document. While in reader mode, navigate the cursor to the right side of your screen and click the Export PDF option. You will see multiple options there, and from them, you will select Word.

export pdf to word updf

2. Open the document in Word and go to References to insert the Table of Contents.

Locate the converted Word file saved on the local storage of your PC. Double-click it; it will open in MS Word if installed on your PC. Otherwise, you may use the free online version of MS Word. Make sure you mark your title to H2, H3, etc. Then, go to the References Tab and click Insert Table of Contents. Word will automatically detect any available headings and create a table of contents. Save that document back on your PC.

references in word to insert table of contents in word

3. Go to UPDF and Create a PDF from Word

Now, again, go to UPDF and click File from the top. Click Create, and from the dropdown, select PDF from Word. It will open the browse window, where you must select the recently saved Word file that contains the table of contents. As you open it, UPDF will automatically convert it into a PDF document, which will also contain the table of contents.

convert word to pdf in updf

Part 3. How to Link the Table of Contents to Pages in PDF?

If you want to link the table of contents to pages in PDF document, you can use UPDF, which allows you to do that in 2 ways. Download UPDF and try using the following 2 methods of linking the table entries to pages in the document.

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Way 1. Add Clickable Table of Contents to PDF Via Link to Page Feature

The table of contents in your PDF document may not work as a clickable table as it works in other tools. However, you can use the UPDF link feature here to link the table of contents with pages. Download UPDF and follow the steps below:

1. Open the PDF document in UPDF, Click Edit PDF, and then select Link

Start UPDF on your PC and open the PDF document to create a clickable table of contents. Now click Edit and select Link from the top.

add link to PDF in updf

2. Click and drag to add link and select Link to Page

You must click and drag the cursor over the text you want to create clickable link. The clickable area will become highlighted in purple color. As you leave the click, it will ask if you want to add a link to a PDF or web page. Select Page and add the page number according to the pages in your PDF document.

Remember that the pages in a document while page numbering in the document may be different. Here, you will be working according to the number of pages of the document instead of the given numbering.

drag to add link to create clickable link in updf

3. Change properties to make it look better.

By default, it will be a dotted rectangle. You can right-click it, select properties, and change its visual properties to the desired option. That will make the clickable area more appealing. Do the same for all other entries on the table of contents.

 change the link properties in UPDF

Way 2. Add Clickable Table of Contents to PDF Via Adding Bookmarks

The second way of creating a clickable table of contents is by using the bookmarks feature in UPDF with the steps below:

1. Open PDF in UPDF and Click Bookmarks

Open UPDF and your PDF document in it. In the reader mode, you will see the bookmark option in the bottom left of the screen. Click it to open the bookmark-adding option.

add bookmark in updf

2. Add a Bookmark for Every Page

Now scroll to the page where you want to add a bookmark, and click +Add Bookmark button. It will be added according to the page number. You can double-click it and edit the text according to the contents in the PDF document. Do this for the whole document; whenever you click a bookmark, UPDF will instantly take you to that page.

customize bookmark in updf

So, download UPDF on your PC and follow these steps to add a clickable table of contents.

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Part 4. FAQS About Adding Table of Contents to PDF

Q1. How to Add Table of Contents to PDF With Adobe

Here are the steps to add the table of contents to PDF with Adobe:

  1. Add a new page in the page thumbnail list
  2. Add text for the table of contents by using the Edit PDF text option
  3. Right-click the text and choose Create link
  4. Select Go to a page

Repeat this process for all entries in the table of contents.

Q2. How to Add Table of Contents to PDF on Mac with Preview?

Here are the steps to add table of contents to PDF on Mac with Preview:

  1. Choose to edit, insert, and blank page
  2. Use the Text option from the toolbar to add text for table of contents
  3. Use the annotate option in Tools and choose to add link to page

Repeat the steps

Q3. How to Add Table of Contents to PDF Online?

Here are the steps to add table of contents to PDF online:

  1. Pick any online PDF editor
  2. Add blank page and text for table of contents
  3. Create links if the tool supports it

Q4. How to Convert Word to PDF With Clickable Table of Contents?

Here are the steps to convert Word to PDF with a clickable table of contents:

  1. Open PDF in UPDF by clicking file and selecting Word from Create dropdown
  2. Open the Word file from the browse window

Q5. Why Are Table of Contents Links Not Working in PDF?

Here are some common reasons why the table of contents links are not working in PDF documents:

  1. Manual creation of table of contents
  2. Broken or improper links
  3. Software limitations
  4. Improper conversion
  5. Corrupted PDF document, etc.

Q6. How to Fix Word Table of Contents Hyperlink Not Working in PDF?

Here are the steps to fix the word table of contents hyperlink not working in PDF:

  1. Open the Word file and update the table of contents
  2. Convert to PDF again using UPDF create from Word feature
  3. Check links
  4. If still not working, add links using Edit PDF > Link option

Using these methods, you can make the hyperlinks work again.

Final Words

A working table of contents for PDF documents can save you time while navigating through lengthy documents. So, if you want to work with these links, using the comprehensive UPDF guides above will greatly help you. For a comprehensive experience, download UPDF and try its features regarding the table of contents.

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