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Automatically generate a compliant table of contents for a markdown file to improve document readability

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.

When used with the in-place option this script will write the TOC at the first occurrency of a marker. The default marker is ````, which, being an HTML comment, will result invisible after the markdown file has been translated.

By default titles up to three indentation levels (in HTML: ``h1``, ``h2``, ``h3``) will be included in the TOC but the user can decide to keep all possible levels.

md_toc makes it is possible to generate ordered and unordered TOCs. In both cases each element of the TOC is by default a link to a paragraph in the web page. It is also possible to generate a non-linked version of the TOC.

If the user wants it, there is the possibility to ignore space indentations within the TOC and to skip an initial number of lines from the markdown file.

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.


Documentation at:



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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 buildflake8-docstrings
Required to buildpipenv
Required to buildsphinx-tabs
Required to use
Required to buildFlake8
Required to useSetuptools
Required to buildRead the Docs Sphinx Theme
Required to buildSphinx
Required to usePython 3

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 20 April 2022.

Version comment

- Added bracket support detection in emphasis for cmark. - Speed and memory improvements.


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

"Everyone" 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”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.