Create a Table of Contents automatically

38 Comments

  • Jennifer Rowe
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    ooooh, a lot of users will love this. Thanks for sharing this tip, Nicolas!

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  • Andrew J
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    Awesome tip Nicolas!

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  • Iggy Pritzker
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    Doesn't work when having more HTML elements between them :(

    1
  • Zivbs
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    That's a great tip, but it doesn't work :-(

    First, the ".appendTo($wrapper);" line gives a syntax error. What should be here before the '.appendTo'?

    Second, the code doesn't seem to be called at all. How should it be activated?

    Third, isn't ZenDesk responsible for checking and publishing these kind of tips? TOC is a basic feature in most platforms, so at least ZenDesk should guide users on how to do this as the ZD Guide doesn't provide it.

    1
  • Nicolas
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    Iggy, could you send me a codepen with the HTML you're using? Happy to review that for you.

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  • Nicolas
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    Ziv,

     

    Are you referring to line 81? The full line is: $link.appendTo($wrapper);

     

    As long as you've corrected that type error and added it to the Custom Theme, that's all you need

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  • Zivbs
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    Nicolas, thanks a lot for your swift answer. I really appreciate it.

    Yes, I was referring to line 81. The addition of $link makes sense. 

    You run on the headers which you get by:
    var $headers = $('.article-body h1');

    The problems:
    1. '.article-body h1' doesn't exist in the article template. 
    When I changed the code to 'h1' at least it found the main header.

    2. It doesn't find any other h2, h3 etc. in the html so that's the reason why it doesn't do much.

    Any idea how to fix this?

     

     

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  • Zivbs
    Comment actions Permalink

    Nicolas, thanks again for this code.

    I made a few small changes and now it works great.

    If you have anymore such cool snippets to share don't be shy :-)

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  • Jennifer Rowe
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    Hi Zivbs,

    Have you seen our complete list of Help Center tips?

    Check it out for more goodies.

    And be sure to follow the post so you get updates.

     

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  • Ashwini Sukhdeve
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    Ziv, would you mind sharing the working code here? Thank you!! 😀

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  • Zivbs
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    Sure, Ashwini. Here it goes:

    /*** Table of contents code ***/
    var $headers = $('.article-body h2');

    if ($headers.length > 0) {
    var $toc = $('<div class="toc">');
    var $firstUl = $('<ul>');
    var $currentUl = $firstUl;
    var previous_level = 2;

    $firstUl.appendTo($toc);
    $toc.prependTo('section.article-info');

    // start with first H1
    insertHeading($headers[0]);
    }

     

    function insertHeading(heading) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    // what level heading are we on?
    var current_level = headingLevel(heading);

    // if it's an H2, add it to the original list
    if (current_level === 2) {
    newLi($heading, $firstUl);
    $currentUl = $firstUl;
    }

    // if it's the same as the one before it, add it to the current list
    else if (current_level === previous_level) {
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    // if it's one level higher than the one before it... time to make a new nested list
    else if (current_level > previous_level) {
    nestUl();
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    previous_level = current_level;

    var $nextHeading = $heading.nextAll("h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6").first()[0];
    // if there's any headings left... run this again
    if ($nextHeading) insertHeading($nextHeading);
    }

    // adds a new UL to the current UL
    function nestUl() {
    var $newUl = $('<ul>');
    $newUl.appendTo($currentUl);
    $currentUl = $newUl;
    }

    // returns a numerical value for each heading
    function headingLevel(heading) {
    switch (heading.nodeName) {
    case 'H1':
    return 1;
    break;
    case 'H2':
    return 2;
    break;
    case 'H3':
    return 3;
    break;
    case 'H4':
    return 4;
    break;
    case 'H5':
    return 1;
    break;
    case 'H6':
    return 6;
    break;
    default:
    return 0;
    }
    }

    // inserts a new line to the current list
    function newLi(heading, $list) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    var $wrapper = $('<li></li>');
    //var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $heading.prop('id'));
    var $anchorname = $heading[0].outerText.replace (/\s/g,'')
    var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $anchorname);

    $link.html('<span class="index"></span> ' + $heading.text());
    $link.appendTo($wrapper);

    $wrapper.appendTo($list);

    var place_in_parent = $list.children('li').length;

    if ($list.parent()[0].nodeName === 'DIV') {
    $link.find('.index').text(place_in_parent)
    } else {
    $link.find('.index').text($wrapper.parent().prev('li').find('.index').text() + '.' + place_in_parent)
    }

    $heading.html("<a name=\"" + $anchorname + "\"></a>" + $link.find('.index').text() + ' ' + $heading.text());

    }
    /*** End of Table of contents code ***/

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  • dave
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    Hi -  Has anyone created a TOC w/o errors?  I'm having problems with the script not recognizing all header tags and also creating run-on hierarchies like that depicted below.  Is there an updated, tested script?  Also, it seems to be hit-and-miss in executing.   Anything missing in the first few JS lines?  Anything required in the document head or header templates?  Thanks.  Dave

    /*
    * jQuery v1.9.1 included
    */
    $(document).ready(function() {
    var $headers = $('.article-body h1');

    if ($headers.length > 1) {

    --------------------------

     

     
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  • Jessie Schutz
    Comment actions Permalink

    Welcome to the Community, Dave! I'm going to check with our Community Moderators to see if they have any insight on this. Otherwise, hopefully some of our other awesome Community members will be able to help!

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  • dave
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    Hi -  can anyone share the latest working TOC js?   I'm still having issues with it executing within the custom theme.  Is it picking up jquery properly?   I also see an 'unexpected end of script error' but all brackets and such are correct.  Is something else happening?  Dave

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  • Warren Lam
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    Hi Zivbs and Nicolas,

    I tried to use the same code from Zivbs but I can only output as the following without the TOC/links. Do I need to update the CSS or what did I do wrong? Any idea?

     

    Result:

     

    1 Title

    2 Second Titles

    3 Subtitle

    3.1 Subtitle2

    3.1.1 Sub Sub3

    3.1.1.1 Sub Sub4

    4 Sub Sub5
    4.1 Sub Sub6

    5 Third Title

    5.1 The sub 

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  • Nicholas Smolney
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hey Dave, see below for how I addressed this:

    Basically the code didn't account for the case when your next heading is going back a level (current_level < previous_level), so I added that case and added an array to keep track of the previous levels.

    /*** Table of contents code ***/
    var $headers = $('.article-body h1');

    if ($headers.length > 0) {
    var $toc = $('<div class="toc">');
    var $firstUl = $('<ul>');
    var $currentUl = $firstUl;
    var previous_level = 1;
    var $arrayUl = [];


    $firstUl.appendTo($toc);
    $toc.prependTo('section.article-info');

    // start with first H1
    insertHeading($headers[0]);
    }

    function insertHeading(heading) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    // what level heading are we on?
    var current_level = headingLevel(heading);


    // if it's an H1, add it to the original list
    if (current_level === 1) {
    newLi($heading, $firstUl);
    $currentUl = $firstUl;
    $arrayUl = [];
    $arrayUl.push($firstUl);
    }

    // if it's the same as the one before it, add it to the current list
    else if (current_level === previous_level) {
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    // if it's one level higher than the one before it... time to make a new nested list
    else if (current_level > previous_level) {
    nestUl();
    $arrayUl.push($currentUl);
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    else if (current_level<previous_level){
    for (i = 0; i < (previous_level-current_level); i++) {
    $arrayUl.pop();
    }
    $currentUl = $arrayUl[$arrayUl.length-1];
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    previous_level = current_level;

    var $nextHeading = $heading.nextAll("h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6").first()[0];
    // if there's any headings left... run this again
    if ($nextHeading) insertHeading($nextHeading);
    }

    // adds a new UL to the current UL
    function nestUl() {
    var $newUl = $('<ul>');
    $newUl.appendTo($currentUl);
    $currentUl = $newUl;
    }

    // returns a numerical value for each heading
    function headingLevel(heading) {
    switch (heading.nodeName) {
    case 'H1':
    return 1;
    break;
    case 'H2':
    return 2;
    break;
    case 'H3':
    return 3;
    break;
    case 'H4':
    return 4;
    break;
    case 'H5':
    return 5;
    break;
    case 'H6':
    return 6;
    break;
    default:
    return 0;
    }
    }

    // inserts a new line to the current list
    function newLi(heading, $list) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    var $wrapper = $('<li></li>');
    //var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $heading.prop('id'));
    var $anchorname = $heading[0].outerText.replace (/\s/g,'');
    var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $anchorname);

    $link.html('<span class="index"></span> ' + $heading.text());
    $link.appendTo($wrapper);

    $wrapper.appendTo($list);

    var place_in_parent = $list.children('li').length;

    if ($list.parent()[0].nodeName === 'DIV') {
    $link.find('.index').text(place_in_parent)
    } else {
    $link.find('.index').text($wrapper.parent().prev('li').find('.index').text() + '.' + place_in_parent)
    }

    $heading.html("<a name=\"" + $anchorname + "\"></a>" + $link.find('.index').text() + ' ' + $heading.text());


    }
    });

     

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  • Nicholas Smolney
    Comment actions Permalink

    and if anyone else is interested, I made a small addition to my css file to indent for subsequent levels

     

    .toc ul{
    padding-left: 20px;
    }

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
    Comment actions Permalink

    Thanks for sharing those updates!

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  • Lily Svetnik
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi, can someone please post a working version of this script? I've tested all of them from original to the last one and unfortunately nothing happens at all with my articles :( 

     

    Thank you in advance

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  • Jessie Schutz
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Lily!

    Can you post a screencap of the code you're using? That'll make it easier for us to figure out what's going wrong!

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  • Lily Svetnik
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Jessie!

    I was using the latest code that was posted here. Apparently, it wasn't working mostly because of syntax errors and other minor issues. 

    We've corrected and slightly modified the script, it's working perfectly fine now and I'm loving it!

     

    Here's my version if anyone else is looking for a solution:

     

    /*** Table of contents code ***/
    var $headers = $('.article-body:first h1');

    if ($headers.length == 0) $headers = $('.article-body:first h2');

    if ($headers.length > 0) {
    var $toc = $('<div class="toc" style="margin-bottom: 25px">');
    var $firstUl = $('<ul>');
    var $currentUl = $firstUl;
    var previous_level = 1;
    var $arrayUl = [];


    $firstUl.appendTo($toc);
    $('#table-of-contents').length > 0 ? $toc.appendTo('#table-of-contents') : $toc.prependTo('.article-body:first');

    // start with first H1
    insertHeading($headers[0]);
    }

    function insertHeading(heading) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    // what level heading are we on?
    var current_level = headingLevel(heading);


    // if it's an H1, add it to the original list
    if (current_level === 1) {
    newLi($heading, $firstUl);
    $currentUl = $firstUl;
    $arrayUl = [];
    $arrayUl.push($firstUl);
    }

    // if it's the same as the one before it, add it to the current list
    else if (current_level === previous_level) {
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    // if it's one level higher than the one before it... time to make a new nested list
    else if (current_level > previous_level) {
    nestUl();
    $arrayUl.push($currentUl);
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    else if (current_level<previous_level){
    for (i = 0; i < (previous_level-current_level); i++) {
    $arrayUl.pop();
    }
    $currentUl = $arrayUl[$arrayUl.length-1];
    newLi($heading, $currentUl);
    }

    previous_level = current_level;

    var $nextHeading = $heading.nextAll("h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6").first()[0];
    // if there's any headings left... run this again
    if ($nextHeading) insertHeading($nextHeading);
    }

    // adds a new UL to the current UL
    function nestUl() {
    var $newUl = $('<ul>');
    $newUl.appendTo($currentUl);
    $currentUl = $newUl;
    }

    // returns a numerical value for each heading
    function headingLevel(heading) {
    switch (heading.nodeName) {
    case 'H1':
    return 1;
    break;
    case 'H2':
    return 2;
    break;
    case 'H3':
    return 3;
    break;
    case 'H4':
    return 4;
    break;
    case 'H5':
    return 5;
    break;
    case 'H6':
    return 6;
    break;
    default:
    return 0;
    }
    }

    // inserts a new line to the current list
    function newLi(heading, $list) {
    var $heading = $(heading);
    if ($heading.text().replace(/\s/g, '') == '') return null;
    var $wrapper = $('<li></li>');
    //var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $heading.prop('id'));
    var $anchorname = $heading[0].outerText.replace (/\s/g,'');
    var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $anchorname);

    $link.html($heading.text());
    $link.appendTo($wrapper);

    $wrapper.appendTo($list);

    var place_in_parent = $list.children('li').length;

    $heading.html("<a name=\"" + $anchorname + "\"></a>" + $link.find('.index').text() + ' ' + $heading.text());
    }
    });

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
    Comment actions Permalink

    Thanks for sharing the resolved code, Lily!

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  • Ariana Metzler
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hello All,

    I'm using the code Lily Svetnik posted June 25, 2018, t 10:58, but nothing is happening to my articles. Am I posting the code in the correct place? I've added it to the end of the "Script.js" asset, as shown below:

     


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  • Vladan Jovic
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Ariana, for debugging it would be much easier if any chance you can share a link to your article or help center here.

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  • Ariana Metzler
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Vladan,

    Thanks for the response. A good example of an article in our Help Center with multiple levels of headers can be found here:

    [Link removed after the issue was resolved]

    0
  • Vladan Jovic
    Comment actions Permalink

    Thanks for the quick reply! I see an error in your JS file.

    Could you please try to add the following code at the end of your Article page template? This will create a TOC like on this screenshot https://cl.ly/syw3

    <script>
    /* ============================================================================================== */ /* ============================== Custom Article Table of Contents ============================== */ /* ============================================================================================== */ var $headers = $('.article-body:first h1'); if ($headers.length == 0) $headers = $('.article-body:first h2'); if ($headers.length > 0) { var $toc = $('<div class="toc" style="margin-bottom: 25px">'); var $firstUl = $('<ul>'); var $currentUl = $firstUl; var previous_level = 1; var $arrayUl = []; $firstUl.appendTo($toc); $('#table-of-contents').length > 0 ? $toc.appendTo('#table-of-contents') : $toc.prependTo('.article-body:first'); // start with first H1 insertHeading($headers[0]); } function insertHeading(heading) { var $heading = $(heading); // what level heading are we on? var current_level = headingLevel(heading); // if it's an H1, add it to the original list if (current_level === 1) { newLi($heading, $firstUl); $currentUl = $firstUl; $arrayUl = []; $arrayUl.push($firstUl); } // if it's the same as the one before it, add it to the current list else if (current_level === previous_level) { newLi($heading, $currentUl); } // if it's one level higher than the one before it... time to make a new nested list else if (current_level > previous_level) { nestUl(); $arrayUl.push($currentUl); newLi($heading, $currentUl); } else if (current_level<previous_level){ for (i = 0; i < (previous_level-current_level); i++) { $arrayUl.pop(); } $currentUl = $arrayUl[$arrayUl.length-1]; newLi($heading, $currentUl); } previous_level = current_level; var $nextHeading = $heading.nextAll("h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6").first()[0]; // if there's any headings left... run this again if ($nextHeading) insertHeading($nextHeading); } // adds a new UL to the current UL function nestUl() { var $newUl = $('<ul>'); $newUl.appendTo($currentUl); $currentUl = $newUl; } // returns a numerical value for each heading function headingLevel(heading) { switch (heading.nodeName) { case 'H1': return 1; break; case 'H2': return 2; break; case 'H3': return 3; break; case 'H4': return 4; break; case 'H5': return 5; break; case 'H6': return 6; break; default: return 0; } } // inserts a new line to the current list function newLi(heading, $list) { var $heading = $(heading); if ($heading.text().replace(/\s/g, '') == '') return null; var $wrapper = $('<li></li>'); //var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $heading.prop('id')); var $anchorname = $heading[0].outerText.replace (/\s/g,''); var $link = $('<a>').prop('href', '#' + $anchorname); $link.html($heading.text()); $link.appendTo($wrapper); $wrapper.appendTo($list); var place_in_parent = $list.children('li').length; $heading.html("<a name=\"" + $anchorname + "\"></a>" + $link.find('.index').text() + ' ' + $heading.text()); }
    </script>
    1
  • Ariana Metzler
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Vladan,

    This worked! Thank you for your help :-)

    1
  • Vladan Jovic
    Comment actions Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback! Let us know if any further help needed ;)

    0
  • Angela Frey
    Comment actions Permalink

    This script hyperlinks to the header name, which means that if I cross-link from article A to a subsection in article B, if that header name is ever updated the cross-link breaks.

    Is it possible to hyperlink to the header ID instead? For example:

    Header Name hyperlink:

    ...hc/en-us/articles/360000297868#ConfigureTrustedSender

    Header ID hyperlink:

    ...hc/en-us/articles/360000297868#h_97516510121537301054444

    FWIW, you can find the header ID while editing an article - in Article A, select text, insert link, choose a header in the dropdown, then look at the URL. I was using this method to manually create Tables of Content, which I could then refer to when creating a cross-link from another article to the subsection (just copy the URL). 

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  • Iris Vermeulen
    Comment actions Permalink

    Thank you Vladan for the code! 

    This is the first TOC code I found on the platform that actually worked! Quick question, is it possible to have it appear on the right side of the article?  

     

    Thanks!

    0

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