How I use Macbook Pages to create a Table of Contents.

How to use Macbook Pages to create a Table of Contents with a list of chapter labels that link to the locations in the book (for Kindle).

***Caveat***: I haven’t uploaded this to Amazon yet, so I’m not 100% sure of what the final thing will look like, but I’ve used it in the Kindle Previewer, and the Table of Contents page shows up with live links.

Looking around the internet, 99.9% of the information I found was for how to format in Word. Like, literally, people would post “How to Create a TOC in Mac for Kindle” and the first step is “Open the Word application.”

No help.

Other sources were outdated and had steps using features which have been purged from Macbook Pages. Like creating bookmarks and using hyperlinks. Doesn’t work for me.


Here’s what I did:

Start with your awesome story, which I hope is formatted in a better way than this:

 photo TOC Ex Sample Text_zpski5othz2.jpg
Learn the formatting techniques you need to learn (for indie-pub, for submissions to agents/’zines, for working with an editor). If you want Writing to be your job, treat it as a skill you need to develop.

Note the word “Default” in the top right quadrant of the screencap. I like to set it to “Body” or some variation of “Body” + letter.

This is when I fiddle with the first line indents and line spacings. These you can configure to your preferences.

When you like how everything looks, and you’ve formatted as much as you can in preparation for the Kindle upload, insert/check on your chapter headings. Whether or not you’re using the classic “Chapter #” format or experimenting with actual phrases/sentences to mark chapter beginnings, make sure they exist and they’re where they’re supposed to be.

Highlight the chapter heading. Go into the Inspector side panel. You can find it on the right side of the screencaps, with “Format” and “Document” buttons on top. While you have the chapter heading highlighted, set the Inspector to Format. Under the word “Text” you should see “Body” with an arrow pointing down. Click on the arrow.

 photo TOC Ex Creating Paragraph Style for your chapter heading_zps1ahrxirj.jpg
The reason I stick with “Body” and “Body + Letter” Paragraph Style labels is to keep things simple, easy to remember, and to prevent drastic changes in size/color of the text. Getting cute with the names might lead to frustration.

At the top of the dropdown menu is “Paragraph Styles.” Click on the + button.

Create a new “Body” label. For example, if you already have “Body” as your main Paragraph Style format choice for the text, make a new one called “Body A” or “Body 1.” (Or if you have “Body AA” as the Paragraph Style choice for your whole story, designate the chapter headings as “Body”) This will now be the Paragraph Style label you use solely for chapter headings.

Go through your whole story and change every chapter heading to that style. If you’re using the “Chapter #” format, you can do this quickly by using the word “Chapter” in the Find function.

 photo TOC Ex Change the Paragraph style for every chapter heading_zpslnceroz3.jpg
The “Find” command is accessed via Edit>Find or using the keys ([Command]+F) or (Butterfly-key + F)

Once you’ve changed all the chapter heading Paragraph Styles to the one you created for your chapter headings, scroll to the first word of your story.

Insert a page break to create a new blank page at the start of your story.

 photo TOC Ex Creating a Table of Contents Page_zpsuf7ts8lt.jpg
Use the Insert>Page Break function. Do not use multiple “Return” line spaces.

Type: Table of Contents (or whatever you want to use)

Go the the next line or a few lines down, putting your cursor where you want your TOC to appear.

Go to Insert>Table of Contents>Document.

 photo TOC Ex Generate a Table of Contents_zpssumaqoas.jpg
It feels straightforward when you can see exactly what button to press. Here it is.

Unclick everything that’s been preselected. Don’t worry if text mysteriously appears where your cursor is. Click on the box next to the label you created for your chapter headings. After a few seconds, a Table of Contents should appear where your cursor is.

 photo TOC Ex Generated Table of Contents_zpsjioihm1y.jpg
Be patient. Depending on the length of your story, a Table of Contents might take a few seconds to generate.

When your mouse goes over the TOC page number it will turn into the icon that means the text is a link. Check that the links go to the correct destinations

Put the document in the kindle previewer and check your links.

 photo TOC Example Kindle Preview_zpsmoycavum.jpg
In your Kindle Previewer, you can see how it will look on several platforms. The chapter headings may or may not be blue or appear like a live link. Click on them and they should be active anyway.

Hopefully this post helps you with your own Table of Contents endeavors, or at least familiarizes you with some aspects of using Mac Pages for formatting a story.

If you have any questions/comments, leave a comment below, on Twitter (@JoanWIP), or Facebook. (Fastest way to reach me is Twitter!)


Join us for a Writers Workshop, this Saturday! For more info, clicking here will take you to the Mountain View Public Library’s details on the event.

The image below is a poster so the links don’t work.
 photo 20160924 Worldbuilding_zpsi3awxvah.jpg

Hang out in my mental playground! For cheaper than a venti latte, my highly-rated short stories are available on Amazon, Fresh Cuts: Breaking Volume and Fresh Cuts 2: Skinning Volume. #Fantasy #SciFi #Horror #Fables #Fairytales #SelfRescuingHeroines #DiverseBooks.

 Fresh Cuts 2: Skinning has been reviewed as “Smart” “Fresh” “Disturbing” and “the part of Wonderland people don’t talk about”!

 Fresh Cuts: Breaking has been reviewed as “Twisted” “Hilarious” and a “Delightfully perverse collection”!

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