Organize a long page

Objective

Organize a long page into sections and provide a hyperlinked table of contents

Who can do this?

An administrator of the particular blog will need to turn on the plugin and manage its settings. With that done, all users who can edit content will be able to add an automatic table of contents to their pages.

Plugins required

Table of Contents Plus

Step-by-step

Introduction

Sometimes you’ve got a lot of content that really needs to go on a single page, a circumstance that can lead to what some call the ‘scroll of death.’ One way to alleviate that problem is break your content into sections with helpful titles, but you can go a step further by providing a table of contents that will take a reader right to the section of interest.

The first order of business is to create the sections on your page and to use heading styles to create the titles. This is a crucial detail so that the table of contents plugin can recognize the structure of your page.

Next, a user with admin rights on your site will have to turn on the plugin: Table of Contents Plus. (If you have the right privileges you should see a link to “Plugins” in the left-hand navigation on your dashboard. On the Plugins page you can just click “Activate” for Table of Contents Plus.)

After turning on the plugin, an admin will want to spend a few minutes looking over the settings options under Settings > TOC+. There are a fair number, but most of the defaults are probably a good match for most needs.

Settings

One of the main choices to make is whether or not to include a table of contents automatically on every post or page. You do this by ticking the appropriate checkboxes at Settings > TOC+ under “Auto insert for the following content types.” If you do not include a table automatically, you can do so manually by adding the shortcode [TOC] wherever you want the table to appear. The square brackets are important here.

If you do opt to display tables automatically, you can choose a threshold number of headings, so that a table of contents will appear only for a post or page that has that many headings or more.

Other considerations

To display a table of contents exactly the way you like may require some additional custom styling.