I have nearly completed an employee handbook with sections and headings such as "Your Guide to Personal Conduct", "Parking", "Benefits", "Dress Code", etc. As the handbook is updated, sometimes the beginning of a section might reflow to another page. Is there any way to track that so that my index, once linked to a section heading (if that's possible), can reflect the proper page number of that content?

E.g., if I have an index that looks like:

Dress Code.........7
Personal Conduct..22

and I add enough content to the Dress Code section to push both the subsequent sections to pages 14 and 24, respectively, can I somehow have the page numbers listed in the index automatically update to reflect the page number of their new positions within the book?

Dress Code.........7
Personal Conduct..24
  • Are you specifically talking about on-the-fly, automatic updates that work without having to update the ToC/index? I don't think that's possible. To my knowledge, there is no access to event listeners in InDesign. But all you need to do is click one button to update a ToC/index, then the page numbers will update. Is that not sufficient for you? Jul 27, 2017 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


InDesign has built-in Table of Contents functionality that is based on using a particular paragraph style for all of the elements that you want to include in the TOC (or Index). Your best bet is to take a look at their documentation for creating a Table of Contents. You can find it on the Adobe website here.

  • Note that doing it thus the Xrefs will not update automatically as the OP asked --- the ToC and Index will need to be re-generated each time the pagination changes.
    – WillAdams
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:24

Yes, you can do this, but it entails making every Xref a live cross reference:

Type | Hyperlinks & Cross-References | Insert Cross-Reference

It would be nice if there were a script to instantiate all folios in a ToC and/or index as such, but probably just as well there isn't, since the performance hit is rather bad.

If one makes a reference outside of the file, then one pretty much has to open up any such file(s) when editing, or the performance degradation makes things pretty much unusable.


I would really love to know the answer to this as well. Apparently the following script will update all table of contents if you have multiple ones in one InDesign doc but I haven't found anything for docs in an InDesign book:

(function() { var curDoc = app.activeDocument, tocStyles = curDoc.tocStyles, nTocStyles = tocStyles.length;

for (var i = 1; i < nTocStyles; i++) { curDoc.createTOC(tocStyles[i], true); } })();

Found it on the following thread: https://indesignsecrets.com/topic/update-multipleall-table-of-contents-at-once

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