Manual:Table of contents

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This page is about tables of contents in wiki pages. For the contents page of the MediaWiki technical manual, see Manual:Contents.

By default, a table of contents (sometimes abbreviated to TOC) is automatically generated on a page when more than three section headings are used.

Typically, the table reproduces and numbers these headings.

All HTML in the headings is stripped in the TOC, except <sup>, <sub>, <i>, <b>, <span dir="rtl">, <span dir="ltr">.

Hiding the TOC

See Manual:FAQ#How can I hide the table of contents?Manual:FAQ#How can I hide the table of contents?

Positioning the TOC

The default position of the TOC is directly above the first section heading. Any prior text is placed before the TOC. To place it elsewhere, use the magic word __TOC__ at the preferred position on the page.

A skin may remove or move the table of contents to another section of the page using Extension:DeTocExtension:DeToc.

Adding the TOC

If you have three or fewer headings but want to have a TOC, write either the magic word __FORCETOC__ anywhere on the page to make it display at the default location, or __TOC__ at the preferred position.

Customizing the TOC


The maximum level of headings displayed on the TOC is defined in $wgMaxTocLevelManual:$wgMaxTocLevel. To customize this for individual pages, the TOC can be enclosed in an element with class toclimit-<limit>, if the appropriate CSS rules are defined in the pages CSS.

See Template:TOCTemplate:TOC and the relevant rules at MediaWiki:Gadget-site.css for an example implementation.


By default, the TOC automatically numbers the sections. The section headings themselves aren't numbered. This behavior of the table of contents can be customised in several ways:

  • It is possible to suppress the auto-generated section numbers in the TOC, if the proper class exists locally at MediaWiki:Common.css, defined as .tocnumber { display: none; }.

To do this selectively, a wrapper element can be placed around the TOC, as in <div class="noautonum">__TOC__</div> on the page, and .noautonum .tocnumber { display: none; } at MediaWiki:Common.css.

  • There is a user preference to also auto-number the section headings, at PreferencesHelp:Preferences > Appearance > Advanced options > Auto-number headings. This can be set globally for the whole wiki by defining $wgDefaultUserOptionsManual:$wgDefaultUserOptions['numberheadings'] = 1 in LocalSettings.phpManual:LocalSettings.php
    • This setting can be overridden individually by users, by changing their preferences as described above, or by setting .mw-headline-number { display: none; } in their user style page. Administrators who lack server access can also override the setting for all users, if it is activated as mentioned above. This is done by using the same CSS code in the site's global common.css file.


Different languages have different ways of expressing TOCs and how its (sub)section numbering is done. Also, the different style guides of many languages differ in what style of TOC and TOC (sub)section numbering scheme they recommend for writers to use.

The different w:style guides of each language sometimes recommend different typographic conventions to follow.

It's important to note that most languages don't even have any style guide for writing in that language (and many languages don't have a written form entirely), so people usually use the most common style based on existing written convention (not prescribed, but simply 'standard' due to popular usage), which makes the written use of many languages have a sort of 'fluid' punctuation, spelling/orthography and even [personal changes of the very] grammar [of that particular language]. w:Westernization has influenced alphabet and non-alphabet writing systems, with many languages simply copying or being artificially converted to European-style typographic and w:punctuational conventions.

An example on how to change the style of a TOC to a localized one is given below:

Some languages put a dot after a (sub)section ordinal number, e.g. they do not use the following TOC style:

1 Section [1]
1.1 Subsection [1.1]
2 Section [2]
2.1 Subsection [2.1]
3 Section [3]
3.1 Subsection [3.1]
3.1.1 Subsubsection [3.1.1]
3.1.2 Subsubsection [3.1.2]

But use one like so:

1. Section [1.]
1.1. Subsection [1.1.]
2. Section [2.]
2.1. Subsection [2.1.]
3. Section [3.]
3.1. Subsection [3.1.]
3.1.1. Subsubsection [3.1.1.]
3.1.2. Subsubsection [3.1.2.]

(Notice the addition of dots after ordinal numerals before the section names!)

It's possible to produce that effect using w:CSS. Put the following CSS code in a shared CSS file of your MediaWiki installation and it should work:

.tocnumber:after { content: '.' }

where the symbol between the single quotation marks is the sign after a (sub)section number.

Also, see bugzilla:43494 and bugzilla:33450 for details on related i18n problems of TOCs.


The TOC can be made to display as a floating element on the page, with text flowing around it.

For this, enclose the TOC in an element with the CSS style float:left; or float:right;.

See Template:TOCTemplate:TOC for an example implementation.


The behavior of the table of contents can be further adjusted using extensions.

See Category:TOC extensionsCategory:TOC extensions for a list.

External links