You’ll construct your linked ToC using Word’s Bookmark feature. We recommend you don’t use Word’s auto-ToC generating feature found in Word 2007 and later versions at References: Table of Contents, because it utilizes field codes and that’s not the best approach.

Who Needs a Linked ToC?

I think every book should have a linked ToC, even novels. Read on to learn why.

Linked ToCs are a near-necessity for non-fiction because readers are more likely to require the ability to jump from section to section.

I also recommend a Linked ToC for fiction because it allows the author to provide the reader useful reference points. If you have named chapters or sections or parts, or if you’re publishing a collection of short stories, a linked ToC is great. If you have backmatter at the end of your book (and you should!) such as “About [Your Author Name],” “Connect with [Your Author Name],” or “Other Books by [Your Author Name],” a linked ToC will help direct readers there. These backmatter sections offer you powerful marketing benefit, and the linked ToC and corresponding NCX make these sections accessible to readers.

If your chapters are only labeled, “Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter XX” and you don’t have additional sections at the end, then there’s little need for a ToC inside your book. In this case, Meatgrinder will automatically generate the NCX from your “Chapter X..” headings. However, if you want your NCX to link to your enhanced backmatter, then another option is to create a simplified link ToC that includes the following sections:

Start of [book title]

About Jane Smith

Other books by Jane Smith

Connect with Jane Smith

If you follow the instructions below, your linked ToC will work in our most important formats of EPUB, MOBI and PDF. Linked TOCs of any form don’t work in our other formats such as the online HTML readers, and of course it won’t work in our .txt files either.

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