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Creating Outlines Automatically From TOC Style Entries

PDFClerk Pro is able to automatically create outlines in the Outline List by analysing a Table Of Contents. This feature will work for the majority of TOC entries, and allows for some flexibility in how the TOC is formatted. To create the outlines, you need to tell PDFClerk Pro a few specifics about the formatting of the TOC and the desired formatting of the resulting outline entries. Choose the menu item Tools > Create Outline From TOC.

In the dialog you specify the page on which the TOC starts and the page on which the TOC ends. As you enter numbers in the input fields for the start and end pages, the preview will automatically scroll to the page with the number entered. (Note that these fields expect the number as an index to the desired page from the start of the document. This is not necessarily the same as the page label for the desired page, which isn’t even necessarily a number.)

Next you specify whether PDFClerk Pro tries to create a hierarchical outline structure by following the visual indentation of each TOC entry, or whether it should follow chapter and paragraph numbering (for instance a paragraph entry might look like this: 2.4.1 The General Structure of a Table Of Contents).

TOCs usually have a number of entries that do not follow the general pattern of the regular entries. For instance the first entry may refer to the TOC itself; an Appendix entry will not have a paragraph numbering; some entries may state a chapter number before the actual name of the chapter (like: Chapter 4: The frugality of the means), but you do not want the chapter indication to be included in the created outline. For such cases you can alert PDFClerk Pro to special terms so that it can deal with them appropriately. Terms can be a single word or an expression consisting of multiple words. PDFClerk Pro only looks for the first occurrence of a term in a TOC entry; subsequent occurrences of the special term will not be treated as special terms. You can specify the following characteristics and options for the terms:

  1. Has Page Label:
    Use if the term includes a page label that doesn’t appear in the normal pattern or the page label (which is either at the start of the TOC entry or at the end).

  2. Hide Term:
    The term will not be included in the label text for the outline item created for this TOC entry.

  3. Has Trailer:
    The term is followed by a token that qualifies the term (like the 2 in Chapter 2).

  4. Hide Trailer:
    The trailer will not be included in the label text for the outline item created for this TOC entry.

  5. Has Text Numbering:
    The term is preceded at the start of the line by a chapter/paragraph number. This is useful only when Indentation is set to Follow Chapter/Paragraph Numbering.

  6. Link Line To Page It Appears On:
    This usually applies to the special terms Contents and Table Of Contents which should be linked to the page they appear on.

  7. Match Case:
    The term will only match text that whose case matches. For instance, if this option is selected and the term is Introduction, then when introduction is found in the text on the page, it won’t be considered a match. Introduction on the other hand, will be considered a match.

If a document is in a language other than English you will of course need to change/enter the terms to the equivalent for the TOC elements in the other language.

Attempt to locate targets

This tells PDFClerk Pro to look for the first occurrence of the relevant text in the TOC on the target page and to make the outline link directly to that section of the page. If you switch this option off PDFClerk Pro will always create the links to the page itself, rather than to a specific location on the page.


Automatic outline generation is a convenient feature that can save you hours of manual labour where you otherwise would have to manually create each outline entry. However, it is not a full-proof method. Some entries may not be correctly parsed by PDFClerk Pro and other issues may result in outline entries that need further manual adjustment. It is therefore recommended to check the outline list created by PDFClerk Pro for completeness and correctness. Especially:

Copyright © SintraWorks
Last updated on June 22, 2015

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