I want to create a table of contents in a Google Docs document where the page numbers are automatically referenced.

Is it possible to put page numbers in a table of contents like this?

  • 2
    From my experience with Google, not saying this is good or bad, Google thinks in terms of a paperless world. In a paperless world you really do not need page numbers in a DOC, but in most business worlds you need to print your documents and having page numbers on the table of content is required. Google may want to look into this as an option.
    – user59600
    Feb 4, 2014 at 16:34
  • @Dan, I agree with you, but then why would you need pages at all?
    – Schiavini
    Apr 24, 2014 at 20:22
  • 1
    There is an Add-on called Paragraph Styles+ with which you can achieve this. See the accepted solution here: stackoverflow.com/questions/23732714/…
    – Motin
    Jun 3, 2015 at 18:37

4 Answers 4


I just found a possible work-around for the original question. It isn't elegant, but it may work.

In each of your section headings (ie, in the text, which are then used to generate the TOC automatically), add a tab and the page number. You have to type in the page number manually, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't pay to get too fancy with placement, adjusting tab stops, etc.

Now, if you refresh the TOC, you get the page number separated from the heading by a tab. (When I tried to adjust the tab stops in the TOC, I got various errors.)

If you don't want the page numbers to appear next to the headings in the body of the document, highlight them there and change the text color to the background color of the document (usually white). The numbers are still there, and will still show up in the TOC, but you can't see them elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the page numbers won't flow as you edit the document, so do this just before final publication.

Again, not elegant -- not in appearance or in process -- but if you must have physical page numbers in a printed document, it should do the trick.

  • 4
    The OP asked for automatically referenced page numbers. Nov 6, 2012 at 13:19
  • 7
    @Vidar, but Google Docs just flat out cannot do that currently, so I think tf2's workaround is better than nothing
    – codeulike
    Nov 25, 2012 at 22:32
  • Table of Contents page numbering was added recently, see webapps.stackexchange.com/a/99159/88163
    – Rubén
    Oct 16, 2016 at 0:13

The recent (5 Oct 2016) update of Google Documents now include that feature. To insert a table of contents with page numbers,

... simply select the numbered option when inserting a table of contents from the Insert menu.


Screenshot of Google Docs Insert menu

  • This sub-menu doesn't appear for me, do you know why? It always just uses hyperlinks for me.
    – Hugo
    Oct 18, 2016 at 10:55
  • @HugoZink New features in Google's services are usually rolled out gradually. It could be that it just hasn't reached you yet. From the linked blog post: Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks. Or that it is not enabled for old documents. Are you trying to insert a TOC in an old document? Does it work in a new document? Oct 18, 2016 at 10:58
  • It's not an old document, and it does not work in a new document either. I just created the document yesterday.
    – Hugo
    Oct 18, 2016 at 11:03
  • Then you'll probably just have to wait a couple of days (5 Oct + two weeks = 19 Oct) for the feature to arrive. If you're on Google Apps for Work, you could check with the domain administrator and see if there's anything that can be done to enable the feature immediately. Oct 18, 2016 at 11:04
  • I eventually just ended up creating a new account, inserting a table of contents in a dummy document, and then copying the table over to the original document where I wanted it. Works great so far.
    – Hugo
    Oct 18, 2016 at 12:08

Google Docs support says:

  1. Go to the Format menu and select Paragraph styles to add headings to sections of your document. There are six different heading sizes to choose from.
  2. Place your cursor where you'd like to insert the table of contents.
  3. Go to the Insert menu, and select Table of contents.
  4. If you need to move the table of contents, select it as you would select text and either move it with your cursor or cut it and paste it.
  5. You can continue to add headings to your document or change current headings. However, if you'd like a change to become part of the table of contents, you need to click first the table and then the Refresh button.

I think the way the table of contents "refreshes" as described in Step 5 is the automatic referencing you're referring to. Let us know if this does what you want.

I misunderstood the question before - we're talking about adding page numbers within the table of contents, not just having the table of contents auto-refresh. My bad. It looks like that particular feature is no longer supported in the new version of Google Docs, though there is a lot of support for the idea of bringing it back. As far as I can tell there's been no word from Google themselves on the subject.

  • 2
    No. What you have explained is clear. This is not the question, the question is: How can I put the page number to each reference inside Table of contents automatically?
    – radu c
    Nov 14, 2011 at 14:40
  • @EkKosmos Aha, I tested it and I see that the table of contents just includes links, not actually the page number. I understand your question now and will keep looking!
    – hairboat
    Nov 14, 2011 at 14:47
  • 1
    It doesn't answer to the OP's question.
    – Alex
    Nov 14, 2011 at 14:51
  • @Alex, yeah, I misunderstood the question
    – hairboat
    Nov 14, 2011 at 14:52
  • 1
    What if (Most likely) you have to show a printout copy. Embedded links are of no use in that case.
    – user18744
    Apr 4, 2012 at 12:40

I found a possible workaround, this is not supported directly by Docs. Instead you try an add-on.


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