I have a google document in which I used the built-in "generate table of contents" function to add a table of contents. It works perfectly in the browser/online.

But my problem came after I exported the document as a PDF. When I opened the PDF and then clicked an entry on the table of contents, it directs me to the corresponding page in the web app of google docs... instead of the corresponding page in the actual PDF itself.

Am I forgetting to do something, or is this just how it normally works? I thought the table of contents that was generated in the google doc would then function like a normal, MS-Word-generated table of contents that takes you to the page IN the pdf.

[Sorry, this is really awkwardly explained. I can't think of how to better word this, though.]

3 Answers 3


What you are experiencing is the intended behavior as per the google product team.


The workaround as mentioned here is to export it to .odt (LibreOffice) or .docx (MS Office) format and then export as PDF from the respective software.

I have tested the workaround in LibreOffice (free and open source)


Facing same issue recently.

Download Google doc as odt sometime will break the page layout, another way is to add the toc to the downloaded pdf with pdf.togen.

pdf.tocgen construct the toc based on the different styles each level of toc uses.

A small linux shell script can be used to automate this process once you understand how pdf.tocgen works.


I stumbled upon a solution that seems to have evaded many forums, but it's actually quite straightforward.

First, save your Google Doc as a Word document. Even though you might not see it, the outline with bookmarks is retained in your Word document. Next, save the Word document as a PDF. Before saving, ensure that you check the boxes for "create bookmarks using headings" and "document structure tags for accessibility" in the options menu.

By following these steps, your PDF will include the outline from your original Google Doc.

Best regards, Yiannis

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