A navigable TOC is one of the most critical eBook formatting features any title must have to enhance the reader experience. Since a TOC can only be added before successful conversion to ePub, it is necessary that as an author you enlist professional book formatting services especially during the process of in design to ePub Conversion.
You want to set up your document so that upon conversion to ePub, it opens with a navigable table of content to the left. Any eReader will look for the TOC in your eBook once it opens up. The TOC headings appearing on the left may then be clicked so that the eReader jumps automatically to the associated content in the document.
Setting up an Adobe InDesign TOC for a single document with several chapters
Adobe InDesign has a perfect TOC feature you can employ before converting to ePub. The way this works, you do not add the TOC to the InDesign document; rather, you apply an InDesign TOC style that’s used to determine creation of navigation links in the TOC. Follow the steps below to set up the TOC style for your document:
1. For starters, determine where you want your navigable eBook chapters to start. Then, make sure to distinguish each chapter start with a specific paragraph style. This helps InDesign to distinguish chapter headings and starts from the rest of the text and objects in the document. Apply the Subhead paragraph style to all headings that mark the start of new chapters in your document. It is important that you apply the same paragraph style to chapter headings on the same TOC level.
2. Through the layout menu, click the Table of Contents Styles to bring up the Table of Contents Styles dialog box
3. Click on the ‘New’ button to create a new TOC from scratch. The New Table of Contents Styles dialog box comes up. Give the new TOC style a unique name, say “epub”. You do this by editing the TOC Style textbox, which by default reads “TOC Style 1”.
4. Under the “Other Styles” section, choose the Subhead option (this is the style you’ve already applied to the chapter starts). Click on the “Add” command, which is available to the left of the Other Styles section. The new style automatically appears in the “Include Paragraph Styles” section.
5. Click OK.
At this stage, the TOC style has already been added and appears in the list of Styles available as indicated in the Table of Contents Styles dialog box. However, you have not yet told InDesign to use it. For now, click Ok to close the box.
1. You tell InDesign to apply the TOC style as you convert your document to ePub. You use the file menu to export, where a “Save As” dialog box comes up. Save the document to bring up the “Digital Editions Export Options” dialog box.
2. Click on the Contents menu item, and on the EPUB Contents panel to the right, check (select) the “Include TOC entries” box.
3. Under TOC style, choose epub, which is the name you gave to your TOC Style.
4. Also, select “Suppress Automatic Entries for Documents” and “Use First Level Entries as Chapter Breaks”.
At this stage, your eBook already has a navigable TOC.
The Fast Fingers book formatting services can help you with the creation of a more complex but navigable TOC for your eBook.