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Automated outline creation from document contents

PDF Nomad 2 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 PDF Nomad 2 a few specifics about the formatting of the TOC and the desired formatting of the resulting outline entries. Choose the menu item Tools → Outline and Link Automation → Create Outline From Table Of Contents...

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 PDF Nomad 2 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 PDF Nomad 2 to special terms so that it can deal with them appropriately. Terms can be a single word or an expression consisting of multiple words. PDF Nomad 2 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:

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

tells PDF Nomad 2 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 PDF Nomad 2 will always create the links to the page itself, rather than to a specific location on the page.

Limitations: 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 has limitations. Some entries may not be correctly parsed by PDF Nomad 2 and other issues in outline entries may result, that need further manual adjustment. It is therefore recommended to check the outline list created by PDF Nomad 2 for completeness and correctness. Especially:


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Last updated on June 30, 2015

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