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Automatically generate and add an accurate table of contents to markdown files.


The table of contents (a.k.a: TOC) generated by this program is designed to work with several markdown parsers such as the ones used by GitHub and GitLab.

Rules for generating the TOC are determined by the selected markdown parser. md-toc aimes infact to be as conformant as possible in respect to each one of them. This was possible by studying the available documentations and by reverse engineering the source codes.

GitHub and GitLab have introduced their version of the markdown TOC after md-toc and similar tools were created:

  • in March 2021 GitHub added an interactive TOC button at the top-left of readme files. This system works for markdown and others
  • GitLab added an extension called Table of contents to its Gitlab Flavored Mardown


  • works offline
  • edits file in place using a TOC marker or output to standard output
  • maximum heading level selection (1 to 6)
  • list indentation based on heading, which can optionally be disabled
  • outputs an ordered or unordered TOC list
  • creates anchor links to markdown headings by default or a plain list as alternative
  • checks if heading level is coherent: this avoid creating an erroneous TOC. This feature can be disabled if needed
  • skip any number lines before generating the TOC
  • can read content from standard input
  • handles multiple files at once
  • selection of newline string
  • check if there is difference between existing TOC in file and newly generated one
  • selection of list marker
  • supports GitHub, GitLab, Commonmark, Redcarpet and others
  • pre-commit md-toc hook

And more! See the feature comparison table


Documentation at:

Related Projects



Verified by

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Verified on

13 June 2021


See also for a list of all the licenses used.

Leaders and contributors


Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
Users, DevelopersBug Tracking
Users, DevelopersChangelog
Users, DevelopersBug Tracking
Users, DevelopersBug Tracking
Users, DevelopersBug Tracking
Python (Ref)

Software prerequisites

Required to buildpython3-build
Required to buildflake8-docstrings
Required to buildsphinx-copybutton
Required to buildsphinx-book-theme
Weak prerequisitepyfakefs
Required to buildvenv
Required to use
Required to buildFlake8
Required to useSetuptools
Required to buildSphinx
Required to usePython 3

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 8 August 2023.

Version comment

Release 8.2.0 - Add the new `--diff` option - Add more comparisons in the feature tables (see documentation) - Closed old issue for inactivity


"Python (Ref)" is not in the list (General, Help, Bug Tracking, Support, Developer) of allowed values for the "Resource audience" property.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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