I'm creating a book with over 150 pages. I have written these pages in Ms Word, and imported them into an InDesign project. Everything is looking perfect.

Generating a TOC from the content seems to work perfectly aswell. However, if I want to place it before the content on an ampty page, it flows over the rest of the contentpages (like an overlay), instead of pushing the contentpages back.

In the image below you can see what happens, the TOC flows over the content on the right page.

enter image description here

  • Edit and show us an image?
    – Lucian
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 9:26
  • Added an image to the original question
    – Whacko
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 9:34
  • Not sure what you did but I would add 2 blank pages after the cover (1st page) and before the actual content. I would try placing the TOC there. Why would this not work?
    – Lucian
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 9:55
  • That would work ofcourse, but that means I would just reserve 4-6 pages for the TOC. and have to manually add more if I run out of space for the TOC
    – Whacko
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 9:57
  • 1
    Well why over think it. Do that, if the book content is presumably finished, the TOC is also finished. Add the pages and manually format this. You can adjust the font size/spacing later if a few new chapters get added, which only means a few extra lines in your 4-6 TOC pages.
    – Lucian
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 10:01

4 Answers 4


Add 4-6 pages (as needed) at the beginning of your document, after the cover page. Then generate the TOC and place in these new blank pages as an independent text box.

You can adjust the font size/spacing later if a few new chapters get added, which only means a few extra lines in your 4-6 TOC pages.

Don't try to link the TOC with the book content, unless you really know what you're doing. Updating the TOC later could affect the 150 pages below and any possible local formatting you may have in the pages.


When you have already existing pages in your document the "Auto-flow" don't work with the option of adding extra pages.
Because you have the room for the content. InDesign leave to you decision if you need to add extra pages or change the size of the text. You have two options:

  1. add the TOC at the end allowing InDesign to add pages as needed
  2. Decide how many pages you can spare for TOC at the beginning of the book and fit the content in that space.

Autoflow is great feature, but a few things have to be nicely set in order to make it work correctly.
I've tried to understand your process but I can only have a guess. Here's an example on how things can be messed up:

bad (please note I should have checked "Delete blank pages" in the options: it usually is very helpful)

Now same process with threaded frames in master page:


  • I like your solution, but I can't get it to work in my project. So I just took the advice of reserving the space.
    – Whacko
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 12:09

My workaround:

  • Create text box(es) with "wrap around bounding box"
  • Place them on the pages designated for TOC
  • Generate the TOC within the text boxes

That way the rest of the document flows around the TOC. For example, title pp., copyright, dedication pages are before the TOC, preface, introduction, etc, after, without having to stop and go with your front matter flow.

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