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Old 02-08-2019, 01:42 PM   #1
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Collapsible TOC?

Hello everyone.

This 80k-word how-to is ready to publish but I have one huge concern. The TOC takes up 10 pages and makes the book feel overwhelming before you even start. I expected it to appear collapsed to H1 headings (which would then be clickable to expand).

I realize you can limit the headings that appear in the TOC but then those headings won't appear at all. Since it's a how-to it's important for readers to be able to find what they're looking for, so I really don't want to eliminate subheadings.

I found the same query a few years back here, but was wondering if there is any easier way to do this (novice here). I read Ducks' reply to that thread several times and think I get the gist, but was hoping there might be a more automated solution three years down the road. Maybe even a plugin or third party tool people are aware of?

Thanks everyone...
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane View Post
This 80k-word how-to is ready to publish but I have one huge concern. The TOC takes up 10 pages and makes the book feel overwhelming before you even start. I expected it to appear collapsed to H1 headings (which would then be clickable to expand).

[...]

I found the same query a few years back here, but was wondering if there is any easier way to do this (novice here).
My answer hasn't changed one bit since 2016. :P

Maybe there's a more meaningful way to organize your TOC, but each book is different, so I can't tell beforehand. Can you share the current TOC?

And hopefully you used the proper <h1> -> <h6> for your headings, right?

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Old 02-08-2019, 04:04 PM   #3
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If you have coded the NCX with NESTED TOC items, then it is the VIEWER on the device that controls the display (if collapsed)
The other option is to Make the NCX, a 'quick TOC' (to keep Amazon et al happy

Then have one of those item, the full (HTML) TOC or Section (HTML)TOC < These can not be marked as TOC with semantics
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:46 PM   #4
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@Trane If your book is an epub3 book, you might find this solution interesting.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:27 PM   #5
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@Tex - yes I used proper H1, etc headings throughout and it goes as deep as H5 in places. The TOC displays beautifully, it's just that it's very long and I expected e-readers to collapse it by default to H1 unless clicked on. Two pages of H1 headings is doable (might even be one page collapsed), but 10 pages of TOC...

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If you have coded the NCX with NESTED TOC items, then it is the VIEWER on the device that controls the display (if collapsed)
If by 'nested' you mean using the headings (H1, H2, etc) then yes... Which is why I expected the TOC pages to be auto-collapsed...

Quote:
The other option is to Make the NCX, a 'quick TOC' (to keep Amazon et al happy

Then have one of those item, the full (HTML) TOC or Section (HTML)TOC < These can not be marked as TOC with semantics
I wish I was smart enough to know exactly what you mean, and then how to do that quickly... or even slowly. This book has been happily kicking my you-know-what every day for the past 6 years... even now at the very end it's not done with me yet.

Aside from being too tired this late [after working 30hrs on it the last 2 days] to get my brain to wrap around what you're saying, my first upload will be to Amazon and I don't own a Kindle so can't check it if I screw it up royally... unless I guess the Kindle Previewer (done beforehand) would throw up on me if I did something wrong...

@Doitsu - it's an epub2. I started it long before I knew there WAS an epub3. I did install the Sigil Plugin to convert to epub3 but am trying to finish it as it is for now.

Thanks guys for all your help... will read this again in A.M. and hope it translates when my brain has had some rest!
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane View Post

I wish I was smart enough to know exactly what you mean, and then how to do that quickly... or even slowly. This book has been happily kicking my you-know-what every day for the past 6 years... even now at the very end it's not done with me yet.
Sorry, putting visualized things into words is hard.
What I want to do in the end, generate a (NCX) TOC That Links to the split apart HTML TOC

If you have a Monster sized HTML TOC, just use Sigls Split tool to break it apart.
Code:
Front matter ...
---  <<split  MARKER points.  don't split yet
Part 1  <change these  section titles to <h1,  They will be for your new Mini-sized TOC
---
Part 2
---
Part 3
---
...
Now Generate a New NCX. from H1 ONLY. This is where I find Calibres TOC tool is better. Sigil marks things to not include, thus making this cycle harder if it needs to be redone.

What you mini TOC (NCX) does is ONLY point to the Part #

Part 1
part 1 TOC
<< these will be the parts split from the original HTML TOC (just drag the files into the proper place in the file list

Part 2

part 2 TOC

and so on

The readers TOC allows the user to jump to a Part, Then the user has to follow the link to the sub sections (not as elegant as an auto collapsed would have been)
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
@Trane If your book is an epub3 book, you might find this solution interesting.
Hmmm, I wonder how Accessible this kind of code would actually be.

I tested in Gitden Reader on Android:

Trying to click on the button made the page jump back or forward (since page turns are controlled by taps on the screen). The TOC was open after I navigated back, but it was a serious annoyance.

I tried to test TTS in Gitden, but it crashed.

Microsoft Edge was able to open/collapse the TOC fine, and the TTS was able to read it fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane View Post
@Tex - yes I used proper H1, etc headings throughout and it goes as deep as H5 in places. The TOC displays beautifully, it's just that it's very long and I expected e-readers to collapse it by default to H1 unless clicked on.
I'd be interested in seeing this TOC.

<h4> is usually pushing it, and once you hit <h5>, it's usually a sign the book can be organized/restructured in a better way.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:48 PM   #8
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<h4> is usually pushing it, and once you hit <h5>, it's usually a sign the book can be organized/restructured in a better way.
Thanks Tex and yes, I'm well aware and spent years (literally) organizing and re-organizing the material to be as clear and concise as possible, flow as easily as possible, and with the fewest nested levels as possible. Unfortunately h5 was required in certain chapters.

I appreciate very much your willingness to take the time to look at the TOC. Since I spent 5yrs in the late 90s researching online data mining and triangulation, it put me off my feed for doing certain things online (no FB or social apps, different pens in every forum I use, a VPN etc. as I am a privacy advocate). And I want to keep my professional work separate from everything else, so I prefer not to supply it. But that's very kind to be willing to take a look at it. I am confident however in its structure. Maybe foolishly.

@theducks - Thanks SO MUCH for that... am just finishing morning chores then will be working on that today for the rest of the day. Will report back how it went or ask questions if I need to, once I'm on it. Again, thanks so much for your time!
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:55 PM   #9
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Now Generate a New NCX. from H1 ONLY. This is where I find Calibres TOC tool is better.
I do have Calibre ... do you mean to do all the previous steps, then in this particular step to use Calibre to generate the TOC?
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:12 PM   #10
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[...]

What you mini TOC (NCX) does is ONLY point to the Part #

[...]

The readers TOC allows the user to jump to a Part, Then the user has to follow the link to the sub sections (not as elegant as an auto collapsed would have been)
I'm still unclear how this works navigation-wise, so let me say what I think you might be explaining since I am slow on the uptake! The HTML TOC in the front matter would present with the Part#s only, [which would be named after the H1 headings]... then if they clicked on a Part# (or H1-named heading) that would take them to the associated Part# xhtml page.... and *that* page would have the sub-chapters from which they could navigate to what they want?

Am I close??

If I do have that right, can I copy the appropriate code sections from the original (full) TOC into each Part# xhtml page? (e.g. Chapter 1 H1 to the last sub-chapter for that section into "Part1.xhtml" then Chapter 2 section to last sub-chapter into "Part#2.xhtml," etc) or will copying the TOC code screw it up since those pages will not technically be part of a TOC?

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Old 02-10-2019, 03:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane View Post
I'm still unclear how this works navigation-wise, so let me say what I think you might be explaining since I am slow on the uptake! The HTML TOC in the front matter would present with the Part#s only, [which would be named after the H1 headings]... then if they clicked on a Part# (or H1-named heading) that would take them to the associated Part# xhtml page.... and *that* page would have the sub-chapters from which they could navigate to what they want?

Am I close??

If I do have that right, can I copy the appropriate code sections from the original (full) TOC into each Part# xhtml page? (e.g. Chapter 1 H1 to the last sub-chapter for that section into "Part1.xhtml" then Chapter 2 section to last sub-chapter into "Part#2.xhtml," etc) or will copying the TOC code screw it up since those pages will not technically be part of a TOC?
Yep! neat and clean (and hopefully short )
Do make the "Part" titles meaningful, so they know where the will need to jump.
Once there, they find a section Contents to refine their quest
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:04 PM   #12
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Wonderful, theducks! Thanks so much... will drop a post when completed just to say I managed to get it done.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
If you have a Monster sized HTML TOC, just use Sigls Split tool to break it apart.
Code:
Front matter ...
---  <<split  MARKER points.  don't split yet
Part 1  <change these  section titles to <h1,  They will be for your new Mini-sized TOC
---
Part 2
---
Part 3
---
...
Now Generate a New NCX. from H1 ONLY. This is where I find Calibres TOC tool is better. Sigil marks things to not include, thus making this cycle harder if it needs to be redone.
OK, I inserted the split markers where needed into the TOC HTML doc.

In the code section you said 'don't split yet' ... so I'm unsure the order I need to go in now to proceed. Do I execute the split command now, rename the new pages, then generate a new TOC for H1 only?

Or do I generate a new TOC for H1 only before I use the command to actually split the HTML TOC doc up? (I'm sure this is a stupid, self-answering question if I understood more how all this works!)

If I have Calibre generate the new TOC (I've never used Calibre for this purpose), will its code conflict with Sigil's?

Last edited by Trane; 02-10-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:11 PM   #14
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OK, I inserted the split markers where needed into the TOC HTML doc.

In the code section you said 'don't split yet' ... so I'm unsure the order I need to go in now to proceed. Do I execute the split command now, rename the new pages, then generate a new TOC for H1 only?

Or do I generate a new TOC for H1 only before I use the command to actually split the HTML TOC doc up? (I'm sure this is a stupid, self-answering question if I understood more how all this works!)

If I have Calibre generate the new TOC (I've never used Calibre for this purpose), will its code conflict with Sigil's?
Yes, run the split (F6), be sure to rename the pieces so yo know where to mov them.
Both Sigil and Calibre generate valid code (I have tasks I prefer to use the other for all the time). The TOC tool in Calibre works differently (has many more options), but in the end: a valid TOC (NCX)
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:04 PM   #15
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Thanks theducks! Have been experimenting with copies... oh, how I hate TOC!! So glad future projects will be plain old fictional novels. No pictures, no TOC, no headings beyond H1... my god it sounds like a dream!

Could not have picked a worse first-project to cut my teeth on. Has felt like trying to get up Everest! In flip-flops... blind... carrying a piano! (Because a little exaggeration never hurt anyone.)

[EDIT: Well I guess even fiction will have a TOC but H1 only for each chapter. No brainer! Even for me!]

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