I’ve often recommended Calibre. Not only because it’s free but it has great functionality and a user friendly interface. I’m not associated with them in anyway I just like their product and have had great success using it.
This post isn’t about how to convert an ebook so I’m not going to go into all the details of what you need to do. In this post I’m focusing specifically on how to create a table of contents using calibre. This is a quick and easy thing to do– if you’ve formatted properly.
Now it’s important while you’re formatting you decide what you want in the table of contents because in order to use calibre you need to set all of your headings with a tag. The most often used HTML tag is h1 (heading 1). It really doesn’t matter what you use. Sometimes when I do more advanced formatting I use the html tag “p class=chapter”. You can be as advanced or simple as you want. Just be sure to give all of your headings the same tag.
Now you’ve added your HTML file to calibre. Once you do that you should see a screen similar to this:
As you can see I’ve already entered the author’s name and title. Also this is for epub but the steps are exactly the same for mobi also. Once you get to this screen and have filled out all the other details. You’re ready to begin setting the table of contents. Click the button on the left hand side with the red arrow pointing to it. When you click it you’ll have a screen similar to this pop open:
If you look in the red circle (pic above), you’ll see I’ve set my TOC to pick up all headings with a H1 (heading 1) tag. But as I said earlier you can set it for pretty much anything you want. To change this is simple, click the button the red arrow is pointing to and when you do this screen will pop up:
This screen allows you to choose your tags. You can either type them in manually if you know or choose from the drop list. To get to the preset drop down list, click the little arrow button in the red circle (pic above) and this screen opens:
As you can see they already have the most commonly used presets, H1, H2 etc. If you have a multi-level TOC then you need to do the same exact steps for each level. If you have only one level TOC which is what most fiction novels will have then all you have to do after you set your tags is click the ok button and then click the ok button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. That will start the conversion process.
If you have subheadings you want included under your main headings, simply repeat the entire above process, but instead of clicking the top button in the first step click the second or third one depending upon how many levels your TOC needs to be. Once completed click the OK button in the lower right hand corner to begin the process.
It’s that simple. A few mouseclicks and you have your table of contents ready to go. The benefit of this is that readers will be able to easily access the TOC from any point of the ebook.
Have you used calibre to convert your ebooks? If not what software do you prefer?
(Thanks to Amy Rachiele. I used her ebook as an example. You can check out her ebook “Mobster’s Girl” on Amazon)