Adding a dotted line between the section names and page numbers in your Google Doc’s table of contents is easy to do, but not immediately obvious. Here is a step-by-step guide to adding dots in your Google Doc’s table of contents.
Why Add Dots in the Table of Contents
Adding dots between the section names and page numbers in your table of contents improves readability and aesthetics. The dots help visually separate the section names from the page numbers, making it easier for readers to quickly scan the table of contents.
The dotted line also gives the table of contents a more polished, professional look. It brings it more in line with the style of a printed book’s table of contents.
Benefits of adding dots:
- Improves readability
- Visually separates section names and page numbers
- Gives a more professional, polished look
- Makes your table of contents look more like a printed book
How to Add Dots in Google Docs Table of Contents
Adding dots in a Google Docs table of contents only takes a few simple steps:
1. Insert Your Table of Contents
First, you need to insert your table of contents in your document where you want it to appear. To do this:
- Place your cursor where you want the table of contents to be inserted
- Go to Insert > Table of contents
- Choose one of the table of contents options that shows page numbers
2. Add Tab Stops to the Ruler
Next, you need to add tab stops to the ruler. The tab stops will create the space between the section names and page numbers where the dots will go.
To add tab stops:
- Go to View > Show ruler to display the ruler
- Click on the ruler where you want the tab stops to go
- They should go where you want the space between the text and numbers
- A tab stop will appear on the ruler where you clicked
Tip: Add several tab stops spaced evenly across the ruler.
3. Insert Periods with Tab Stops
Now you can insert periods at the tab stops to create your dotted line:
- Click at the end of your first section name in the table of contents
- Press the Tab key to move to the first tab stop
- Type a period
- Press Tab again to move to the next tab stop
- Type another period
- Repeat this process, tabbing between each tab stop and typing a period after each one
The periods you insert will now appear as dots between the section names and page numbers!
Tip: You can copy/paste the text with tabs and periods to quickly add dots for each entry.
Customizing the Look
You can customize the look of the dots in a few ways:
- Use different characters: Instead of periods, use other characters like dashes or asterisks
- Adjust tab spacing: Make dots closer or farther apart by moving the ruler tab stops
- Add bold/color: Format the dots to stand out more by making them bold or colored
If your dots don’t appear correctly after adding tab stops and periods:
- Make sure View > Show formatting marks is checked so you can see tabs, spaces, etc.
- Verify tabs and only one period are inserted between each section’s text and page number
- Check that no extra spaces are inserted accidentally
- Adjust or add more tab stops if they don’t fully align across the table
More Table of Contents Customization
In addition to adding dots, you can further customize your Google Docs table of contents:
- Change formatting of text (font, size, color etc.)
- Update heading levels included
- Add leader lines instead of dots
- Apply hanging indent on second line of long section names
- Insert above or below text
Take your Google Docs tables of content to the next level!