How to Format the Table of Contents in an Ebook

How to Format the Table of Contents in an EbookEbook developer Joshua Tallent has been using his Digital Book World column recently to discuss some best practices, ideas and opinions about ebook front matter. And in his latest installment, he dives into the table of contents.

Speaking to the Nav Doc, Tallent writes: “In EPUB 2, the Table of Contents (TOC) is actually built into two different files: an HTML file that is visible to the reader as they turn pages through the EPUB, and the NCX file, which is an XML file that most reading systems display as a special navigation option, usually when you select a TOC option from a menu. The reason for using two different files was the need for a TOC that was structurally correct while also having the ability to style the TOC in a way that matches the print book.”

He continues: “In EPUB 3, the needs of these two files have been combined into one: the HTML Nav Doc. The structure of the TOC is achieved by constructing the TOC as an ordered list, and the styling is done in the stylesheet.”

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SpotlightFree DBW Webinar on Publishing Processes
Digital Book World’s Spotlight topic for November has been publishing processes, and on Tuesday, November 17th, at 1pm EST, we’re hosting our next webinar on the subject. Featured on the webinar will be Larry Bennett, Executive Director at Nord Compo, who will discuss template-driven workflows in the prepress process, and Carmen Lamb, Sales Representative, Digital Publishing Services, at LibreDigital, who will discuss the role of automation in digital file distribution. Click here to register.

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