Table of Contents


The Table of Contents extension generates a Table of Contents from a Markdown document and adds it into the resulting HTML document.

This extension is included in the standard Markdown library.


By default, all headers will automatically have unique id attributes generated based upon the text of the header. Note this example, in which all three headers would have the same id:


Results in:

<h1 id="header">Header</h1>
<h1 id="header_1">Header</h1>
<h1 id="header_2">Header</h1>

Place a marker in the document where you would like the Table of Contents to appear. Then, a nested list of all the headers in the document will replace the marker. The marker defaults to [TOC] so the following document:


# Header 1

## Header 2

would generate the following output:

<div class="toc">
    <li><a href="#header-1">Header 1</a></li>
        <li><a href="#header-2">Header 2</a></li>
<h1 id="header-1">Header 1</h1>
<h2 id="header-2">Header 2</h2>

Regardless of whether a marker is found in the document (or disabled), the Table of Contents is available as an attribute (toc) on the Markdown class. This allows one to insert the Table of Contents elsewhere in their page template. For example:

>>> md = markdown.Markdown(extensions=['toc'])
>>> html = md.convert(text)
>>> page = render_some_template(context={'body': html, 'toc': md.toc})

The toc_tokens attribute is also available on the Markdown class and contains a nested list of dict objects. For example, the above document would result in the following object at md.toc_tokens:

        'level': 1,
        'id': 'header-1',
        'name': 'Header 1',
        'children': [
            {'level': 2, 'id': 'header-2', 'name': 'Header 2', 'children':[]}

Note that the level refers to the hn level. In other words, <h1> is level 1 and <h2> is level 2, etc. Be aware that improperly nested levels in the input may result in odd nesting of the output.

Custom Labels

In most cases, the text label in the Table of Contents should match the text of the header. However, occasionally that is not desirable. In that case, if this extension is used in conjunction with the Attribute Lists Extension and a data-toc-label attribute is defined on the header, then the contents of that attribute will be used as the text label for the item in the Table of Contents. For example, the following Markdown:


# Functions

## `markdown.markdown(text [, **kwargs])` { #markdown data-toc-label='markdown.markdown' }

would generate the following output:

<div class="toc">
    <li><a href="#functions">Functions</a></li>
        <li><a href="#markdown">markdown.markdown</a></li>
<h1 id="functions">Functions</h1>
<h2 id="markdown"><code>markdown.markdown(text [, **kwargs])</code></h2>

Notice that the text in the Table of Contents is much cleaner and easier to read in the context of a Table of Contents. The data-toc-label is not included in the HTML header element. Also note that the ID was manually defined in the attribute list to provide a cleaner URL when linking to the header. If the ID is not manually defined, it is always derived from the text of the header, never from the data-toc-label attribute.


See Extensions for general extension usage. Use toc as the name of the extension.

See the Library Reference for information about configuring extensions.

The following options are provided to configure the output:

  • marker: Text to find and replace with the Table of Contents. Defaults to [TOC].

    Set to an empty string to disable searching for a marker, which may save some time, especially on long documents.

  • title: Title to insert in the Table of Contents’ <div>. Defaults to None.

  • toc_class: CSS class(es) used for the <div> containing the Table of Contents. Defaults to toc.

  • anchorlink: Set to True to cause all headers to link to themselves. Default is False.

  • anchorlink_class: CSS class(es) used for the link. Defaults to toclink.

  • permalink: Set to True or a string to generate permanent links at the end of each header. Useful with Sphinx style sheets.

    When set to True the paragraph symbol (¶ or “&para;”) is used as the link text. When set to a string, the provided string is used as the link text.

  • permalink_class: CSS class(es) used for the link. Defaults to headerlink.

  • permalink_title: Title attribute of the permanent link. Defaults to Permanent link.

  • baselevel: Base level for headers. Defaults to 1.

    The baselevel setting allows the header levels to be automatically adjusted to fit within the hierarchy of your HTML templates. For example, suppose the Markdown text for a page should not contain any headers higher than level 3 (<h3>). The following will accomplish that:

    >>>  text = '''
    ... #Some Header
    ... ## Next Level'''
    >>> from markdown.extensions.toc import TocExtension
    >>> html = markdown.markdown(text, extensions=[TocExtension(baselevel=3)])
    >>> print html
    <h3 id="some_header">Some Header</h3>
    <h4 id="next_level">Next Level</h4>'
  • slugify: Callable to generate anchors.

    Default: markdown.extensions.headerid.slugify

    In order to use a different algorithm to define the id attributes, define and pass in a callable which takes the following two arguments:

    • value: The string to slugify.
    • separator: The Word Separator.

    The callable must return a string appropriate for use in HTML id attributes.

    An alternate version of the default callable supporting Unicode strings is also provided as markdown.extensions.headerid.slugify_unicode.

  • separator: Word separator. Character which replaces white space in id. Defaults to “-”.

  • toc_depth Define the range of section levels to include in the Table of Contents. A single integer (b) defines the bottom section level (<h1>..<hb>) only. A string consisting of two digits separated by a hyphen in between ("2-5"), define the top (t) and the bottom (b) (<ht>..<hb>). Defaults to 6 (bottom).

    When used with conjunction with baselevel, this parameter will not take the fitted hierarchy from baselevel into account. That is, if both toc_depth and baselevel are 3, then only the highest level will be present in the table. If you set baselevel to 3 and toc_depth to "2-6", the first headline will be <h3> and so still included in the Table of Contents. To exclude this first level, you have to set toc_depth to "4-6".

A trivial example:

markdown.markdown(some_text, extensions=['toc'])