Indesign TOC subheadings not in order from what's seen on pages - Urgent

New Here ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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Hello, I am writing to understand why my subheadings are positioned later in the TOC than how they are presented in my pages. I have attached how I want it to look in the TOC versus what is actually happening when I click "Update Table of Contents" (the last screenshot). I don't understand why this is happening and need this fixed urgently.

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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ID builds the TOC reading the page from upper left corner and working down befor moving right. It might be that your frame with the heading is just slightly further to the right than the body copy frames.

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New Here ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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It looks like they are already aligned. So shouldn't ID be reading the subheading first before going to my TOC program bullets?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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Try pulling the left edge of that frame a bit further to the left to see if it makse a difference. You can add a left inset if it does.

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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I tried it and it still doesn't work. I also do not want to pull the text box all the way to the end for my project because the title is suppose to remain aligned to the other text. Are there any other solutions?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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Peter is right about the likely reason this is happening. It can be vexing. It's hard to follow your heading from screen shots, could you post a couple of pages of the file that include the headings in question? Then we can run a TOC on it and see what's under the hood, so to speak.

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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Please see attached.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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In the interest of saving me a bit of time, can you point out a case or two where the TOC is not correct? Don't really want to read the document. 🙂 Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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I think Barb's got the answer. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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Hi @lomeowmeow:

 

If you push the frame to the left, and then add a left indent to the paragraph style so that it is back in line, it will take care of the issue. 

 

~Barb

toc.png

 

Edit: I see Peter suggested this, and you said it didn't work. It did for me.

Same page but in Preview mode (still lines up):

toc1.pngtoc2.png

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022

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@lomeowmeow, here's what caused the problem when you generated the TOC.

 

The heading, Refugee and Ayslee Services, is in a separate frame from the rest of your story and it's not threaded with the rest of the frames. It's called an Orphaned Frame.

 

In your original screen capture repeated below, you can see the blue threading arrows skip the heading frame entirely.  So InDesign's TOC utility doesn't have a clue where to put the heading and makes it's best guess. In your case, that guess wasn't good enough!

Orphaned heading frame is not part of the main story thread.Orphaned heading frame is not part of the main story thread.

 

In future versions of this directory, you might want to consider a better way to have everything threaded sequentially, in the correct order — even with the headings that appear at the top of some pages. Several ways to do that:

  • Make one, taller frame on that page with the heading falling at the top and enough white space after it to align the body text where you want it.
  • When flowing the text into the layout, create a short frame at the top of the page to hold the heading, and continue threading to the next frame lower on the page.
  • Manually "stitch" the heading frame into the main story thread.

 

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2022 Jan 24, 2022

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Hello Bevi,

 

Thanks so much for your help! I was wondering then is this the case for all the other headings? The other headings are not threaded either but they fall in order in the TOC.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2022 Jan 24, 2022

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Possibly.

It depends upon how you constructed the pages and how InDesign wrote the coded that we can't see.

 

Most utilities/scripts look for a specific pattern of data in the file; if the utility finds this, then do that. The TOC utility is one of these tools.

 

For some reason, it didn't recognize that that particular heading, in an unthreaded text frame at the top of the page, belonged at a certain point in the file's hidden data or code. Yet on the other headings, it did. WTHK what in the code threw it off.

 

But a separate text frame that holds a heading is a key way to muck up the code and throw off a utility like TOCs, footnotes, indexes, and other features where InDesign must process the data in order to do the task.  It also affects us when we export to different technologies, such as EPUB, accessible PDFs, dynamic variable publishing, etc.

 

We teach our clients/students to construct better InDesign layouts. Minimize the number of text frames so that the code is streamlined, and control the threading of stories from start to finish. The whole document doesn't have to be in one text thread: we mean each individual chunk or story should be threaded from its heading to its end.

 

Better construction = fewer technical  glitches in InDesign = better exported PDFs (regardless of whether you're going to Print with the PDF or another digital technology).

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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