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Example Headings:

Title
Test1
Test12a
Test12b
Test12b3a
Test12b3b
Test12c
Test12c3a
Test12c3b
Test2
Test22a
Test22b
Test22b3a
Test22b3b

To link to a chosen heading (= reference) in Google Docs, you can copy the heading's URL after clicking on the chosen heading.

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If you paste that copied URL somewhere else, it will ask you to fill it with the doc's name by pressing Tab:

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Press Tab:

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and it will not show to which heading it points to unless you hover over it:

Since it is much more readable if you add the full line of headings afterwards to that main document name as the only name of the link, you may end up in linking like this, so that you do not need to hover over it:

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You will often run into a line break:

See MY_DOC_URL_LINK --> "my sub heading1" --> "my sub heading2" --> "my sub heading3 that is linked in the link" with an insight into the topic.

The quotes are to show where a heading ends before the next text goes on, that is better to read, no matter whether it goes on in the same line or starts as a new one afterwards, but there might be a better default than this format.

Is there a plugin or built-in tool that lets you copy the path of headings that you need to jump through from the Test1 Heading until you reach your chosen Test12c heading? You could then just paste it after the URL as a string (and reformat it a bit as you like, or get a format from that tool so that you do not need to add --> and "" for each level):

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An answer would already be if someone knew how to get the heading path from top to bottom of a chosen heading. I could not find this, if you right-click in the SUMMARY pane, you only get the browser menu, which does not help getting the needed heading path of the chosen heading.

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Not only such a menu is not there, but you cannot even mark the headings and copy them from the SUMMARY pane.

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1 Answer 1

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Your approach causes the behavior

Instead of copying the URL from the address bar and pasting it as you are currently doing,

  1. place your insertion point where the link should go
  2. insert link: ctrl+k or right-click >> insert link

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  1. click Headings and bookmarks in the menu that pops-up

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  1. select your heading

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The default behavior for this approach is for the link to have the Heading's text as the text displayed.

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You can customize this how you like, prepend "See" before you insert the link, simulate breadcrumbs with multiple links to different levels, images, arrows, whatever, but the core issue, links to headings aren't labelled with the text from the heading they link to is tied to the way you are creating the links, and if you use the approach above is resolved.

If you want to show the link is a gDoc, keep an image handy in another doc like and just paste it in before your link.

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  • This way, you lose the nice Doc tag with the gray background that shows the reader that it is a doc, not just an internet URL. The Doc tag (or any other tag like Google sheets and so on) with the gray background makes this clear at first sight and also looks better. Therefore, this answer is not enough. It also costs more time to choose the heading from the list, think of a large document where you need to scroll through all of the headings. With Tab, you have a link without menu time. It is then the next step, and the question at hand, to add the string of the heading path with less work. Oct 25, 2022 at 21:33
  • This answer speeds up links to docs that are not opened or not at hand, just tested it. You can also then copy its link, paste and press Tab again for the gray background. // Think of up to six levels that you can have in Google Docs, with a Heading 1 level of perhaps 50 headers and with lower levels that can have more than 10 headings again. But for me, it does not mean a lot how big the heading tree is. It is more about the idea to get the path till that chosen heading easily. I could not even copy from the left SUMMARY pane, that would have been the first and rather bad workaround. Oct 25, 2022 at 22:23
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    This is a helpful workaround when you link inside the same doc so that the filename as the link name is not so much needed. This is only accepted until a tool or menu item is found that can give you the full path of a heading, since the Tab link name replacing is just easy. For links to other docs, I would rather keep the filename of the link (and at least, you could hover over it) than just the link's heading as the new link name. One might take the best of both. Tab for other docs, this answer for links inside the doc. Oct 26, 2022 at 0:41
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    I have tested this for a while, and it works fine. I am now linking to a heading inside the same file using Ctrl+K (and write --> before it to show that it is not just a URL to a website, but an inner page link); and I press Tab after pasting a link to a heading in another file. Nov 14, 2022 at 17:23

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