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Table of Contents won't display when using Kindle for the PC app to preview book

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Initial post: Nov 23, 2011 11:30:44 PM PST
Tim Kavi says:
I made my book and when I opened the file to preview it it opened in Kindle for the PC. Everything looks good there as I previewed it in Kindle for the PC, except it doesn't allow me to click on Table of Contents in the drop down menu of the Kindle reader. I can scroll to to it manually and it is there? Now I notice that many of my other downloaded books in Kindle for the PC have the same problem. Does viewing it in the Kindle Previewer fix that problem about the TOC?

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 3:04:37 PM PST
Ande says:
I have a similar issue. When I use KindleGen to convert the book it converts the Table of Contents (TOC) for the book. And, the TOC works in the reader for going to the different chapters. However, there seems to be a lot of howevers in the Kindle world, when I click on the TOC Icon in the Kindle Previewer I get the error message that there is no TOC for the book.

I am, once again, completely lost and the documentation does not help. It only refers to the NCX standard. What must I do to get the TOC accepted by the Kindle Previewer?

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 1:11:48 AM PST
This is a widespread problem that doesn't seem to have been resolved satisfactorily. I have the same difficulty. I am creating a book in Pages on a Mac. I can export the file as an ePub, and use Kindlegen to convert it to a .mbi file. But when I open it in Kindle Previewer, there is no table of contents. If I click NCX Viewer, the table of contects appears THERE, and the little tick marks are in the nav bar (showing that the structure of the chapters is OK) but the ToC itself does not appear. It is very frustrating. If I find an answer, I will post it.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 7:22:56 AM PST
Hello from Kindle Publishing Team,

Guidelines on how to add HTML TOC to a book can be found at the sections 'TOC Guidelines [#2,#3]' in Amazon Kindle Publishing guidelines [ ]. Please feel free to mail us [] with source details, in case if you face any more difficulties.

With Regards,
Kindle Publishing Team

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 7:45:15 AM PST
Perhaps I am a bit green, but isn't it reasonable to expect Kindlegen to create this ToC?

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 7:59:19 PM PST
Tim Kavi says:
I would like to add an update to my earlier post. I was able to get my eBooks functionally working regarding the TOC issue. This may be an important point though: getting the TOC to link and work in the Go to menu in the Kindle previewer and the final downloadable copy despite using MobiPocket Creator, and despite adding a #TOC tag to it would never work or succeed on my machine that was running Windows 7 and Google Chrome! I wonder too if updated Java also contributed to the problem. Anyway, I was only successful, after I switched to a different machine that was running an earlier version of Windows (Vista) and happened to have Internet Explorer. Once I switched and built the book there in MobiPocket Creator in the Vista environment, I have had no problems ever since. Just thought I would share this as once I did this, it worked quite easily and quickly. SO I would say think about a different version of the operating system if you have done everything you are supposed to and it still isn't working.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 1:17:55 AM PST
Tim, thanks for adding this. I am using a Mac, so although your suggestions may help others, they don't do it for me. FWIW, I managed to make the problem go away (more or less) by converting the file from ePub to Mobi using Calibre, rather than Kindlegen.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 8:29:19 AM PST
Clare Chu says:
Hi, can you give a sample novel.html file with the toc.html included? I can't figure out whether you are using javascript includes or some other client-side include? I keep getting this error:

Warning(prcgen):W14001: Hyperlink not resolved: C:\[deleted path]\toc.html
Warning(prcgen):W14002: Some hyperlinks could not be resolved.

this is per your guideline:

3.3.2 TOC Guideline #2: HTML TOC Must Be Linked
Place an HTML page with a table of contents at the beginning of the book, so that users can easily jump to locations within it (typically to a chapter). The entries in the TOC must be HTML links so that users can click to go to a specific location. A table of contents that is not made of links is not useful on Kindle.


Posted on Feb 20, 2012 1:04:50 PM PST
Ande says:
I followed their guidelines and it still does not work. KindleGen is a waste of time. Find and use an old version of MobiCreator. That did create a TOC which could be seen in the Kindle Preview application. My system is a Windows 7 system. I remember a link in one of these TOC discussions. Sorry, I just don't remember which one. Why does it appear that Amazon is ignoring this problem?

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 4:38:07 PM PST
Clare Chu says:
I worked around it using Calibre. I generated the toc.ncx file, then deleted the actual Table of Contents from my Word doc while retaining the "hidden bookmarks" that show the TOC entries in the html file.

Then I asked Calibre to add a TOC at the beginning of the doc. It wasn't exactly where I wanted the TOC, but it seems to work.

I wrote it up on my blog. []. But I'm wondering if there isn't an easier way to do the TOC from word by assigning bookmarks to each heading and generating the toc.ncx file (by script) instead of using MSFT TOC and then parsing the MsoToc1 entries for the reference points and Headings. Or does Calibre do this for you once you've tagged all your TOC entries?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 5:40:08 AM PST
Hello from Kindle Publishing Team,

Please confirm if you've specified a reference to your HTML TOC through a guide item (as specified in TOC Guidelines #3 in
Example: <guide> <reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="toc.html"> </guide>

Feel free to mail us [] with source details, in case if you face any more difficulties.

Also, thanks for your feedback/suggestions related to automatically converting NCX to TOC HTML in Kindlegen.

With Regards,
Kindle Publishing Team

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 9:56:55 AM PST
Ande says:
One little question. Where is this supposed to be put? In the <head> or in the <body> portion of the html? I haven't had any luck in getting either to provide a TOC in the Kindle Previewer.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 10:02:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2012 10:07:43 AM PST
Clare Chu says:
<item href="Michals-jpg-kindle.jpg" id="my-cover-image" media-type="image/jpeg" >
<item id="toc" media-type="application/x-dtbncx+xml" href="toc.ncx"></item>
<item id="item1" media-type="text/x-oeb1-document&quot; href="MichalsWindow.htm"><;/item>

[note: I don' t know why the post shows a semi-colon in one of my item end tags, but it's not really there in the code, so don't worry about it.]
<reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="toc.htm">

Did I need to include the toc.htm in the Manifest above? If so, please send sample code.
I just don't see how to include it in the MichalsWindow.htm without Server Side Includes, and I'm not running a webserver.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 10:06:12 AM PST
Clare Chu says:
it seems they want a separate toc.html file. Usually, you'd include it inline inside of the <body> of the main document html file. but I deleted it and used Calibre. I would like to just use Kindlegen because Calibre puts the TOC at the very beginning of the document and I would like mine after the Title page, copyright, dedication and acknowledgments, etc.

If I put my own TOC inside my doc, I can place it exactly where I want it to go. The only problem is tagging "toc" only works for Kindle, not for the Kindle apps on PC and iPad.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 12:27:36 PM PST
Ande says:
That is one of the most confusing aspects of the butchered/modified MobiCreator (KindleGen) application, which has been reverse engineered to a MS-DOS Command Line only application.

KindleGen is looking for only one html file to convert and at the same time requires you to have a separate html file just for the TOC? That is impossible to do with KindleGen. The book is set-up as an online complete html document and even has its own website with each section set-up as an individual web page. I just realized that the Kindle format requires the use of in-line css and does not work well with external css.

The issue I have with using Calibre is that the ebook can not be validated.

I have the eBook ready in epub, html, doc, docx, Daisy, pdf, xps and rtf formats. The only hold out to complete the set is the Kindle format. When I try to do the conversion the text formatting and/or TOC get trashed. I can get the conversion to mobi done and can open it with the MobiReader, but the Kindle Previewer can't open it with the TOC still working.

This has definitely been an adventure for me. The last ebooks I did was about 6-years ago.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 12:42:38 PM PST
Clare Chu says:
Ande says:
The issue I have with using Calibre is that the ebook can not be validated.

Does this mean you cannot upload it?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 1:55:13 PM PST
Ande says:
You can upload the ebooks without validation. The validation is to ensure the ebooks meet the standards set for that format. If there is a future change to the ebook readers to follow the standard the ebook could quit displaying correctly. Just like the different Internet Browser standards. A validated website can improve the website listing on the search engines.

I may be a little foolish. But, I like to have things validate with the current standard.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 2:04:47 PM PST
Ande says:
I would like to post another TOC question here. The Kindle publishing guidelines specify:
"3.3.1 TOC Guideline #1: Logical TOC (NCX) Is Mandatory"
Yet, they never say where this requirement is to be placed. Is it part of the book.html, toc.html, in the head or in the body? And, they say:
"This excerpt from the OPF (publication header file) shows how to add an NCX table of contents to a book.
Declare the NCX in the "manifest":
<item id="toc" media-type="application/x-dtbncx+xml"
And use it in the "spine":
<spine toc="toc">"

WHAT? Where? Is the "toc.ncx" a third html file we have to create? So confusing when just a few straight forward steps and instructions could help. We did not write the program code. Please do not expect us to instinctively know what you, the programmers, happen to be thinking, or consider, to be general knowledge in the world. We, the users, need some basic step-by-step instructions on how to use your application.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 1:51:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2012 1:52:33 AM PST
Clare Chu says:
I got it to work by changing the id for the toc.ncx to "toc1" so that "toc.htm" can use the keyword "toc" in the <reference> tag. I also added "toc.htm" to the <manifest>.
By the way, I have yet to find any documentation on how to construct the manifest. I only used my experience as a software engineer to figure that you must include all items in the manifest, and then by trial and error I played around until it worked. I'll update my blog with my findings. This means I don't have to use Calibre anymore.

<item href="Michals-jpg-kindle.jpg" id="my-cover-image" media-type="image/jpeg" >
<item id="toc1" media-type="application/x-dtbncx+xml" href="toc.ncx"></item>
<item id="toc" media-type="text/x-oeb1-document&quot; href="toc.htm"></item>
<item id="item1" media-type="text/x-oeb1-document&quot; href="MichalsWindow.htm"><;/item>

<spine toc="toc1">
<itemref idref="toc">
<itemref idref="item1">



<reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="toc.htm">

<reference type="start" title="Startup Page" href="MichalsWindow.htm%23start";></reference>



In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 11:56:32 PM PST

Kindlegen also takes the EPUB files directly as input. From your above quote, I believe you have the EPUB source as well. Please provide the same as the input to check if the concerns are being overcome. Also, please download and refer the samples from (specifically sample named "Guide"). Another option is to explore and providing your word documents as input here (please reach out to for questions related to the KDP).

Specifically related to NCX and TOC concerns, following are the steps to include them to the source.
1) NCX (logical TOC)
- NCX is used by Kindle devices to be able to automatically identify the section/chapter the user is currently reading and help in navigate through sections/chapters using 5-way navigation keys in Kindle.
- You will have to provide EPUB as input to kindlegen to be able to reference NCX.
- Author the NCX file referencing section 3.3.1 in Kindle publishing guidelines (
- In the OPF document inside EPUB, NCX can be provided as reference.
- From Kindle publishing guidelines, Declare the NCX in the "manifest"
<item id="toc" media-type="application/x-dtbncx+xml"
- Reference the NCX from spine element in OPF
<spine toc="toc">

2) TOC
- TOC is an HTML document with a series of links that the user can click and navigate to different chapters.
- TOC.html is typically a series of HTML anchor links
- The HTML can be referenced from OPF file by including the html reference in manifest
<item id="toc" media-type="text/html" href="toc.htm"></item>
- Subsequently, a guide item should be specified as follows in OPF to reference the TOC
<reference type="toc" title="Table of Contents" href="toc.htm">

Please reach out to if you have further questions related to the usage of TOC or NCX.

Kindle Publishing Tools Team

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2012 2:28:22 PM PST
Ande says:
Thanks. In answer to my questions.
1. "toc.ncx" is indeed an additional file separate from the others and not just part of the documents html.
2. I am still confused on the "TOC" question. Out of the five samples only two have a "toc.html" file. The others do not have one. So, is a separate "toc.html" file required?
3. The text file provided with KindleGen only talks about converting single/individual .html files. There is no mention of being able to convert any other formats, or multiple files into the Kindle format.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 2:37:42 PM PST
Reiven West says:
I'm not trying to make a book. I'm trying to read a book that I've d/l to my kindle for pc and my kindle- and the table of contents is not active. This doesn't happen with all books. Am I doing something wrong? How can this be fixed?

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 5:08:23 PM PDT
Mark Prouty says:
As an end user and one who purchases kindle books from Amazon, I am very dissapointed to see purchases don't have a table of contents on kindle ipad. What's with that Amazon people!!

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 5:37:30 PM PDT
Mark Prouty says:
Time to check out the Nook for ipad.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 5:52:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 4, 2013 1:03:57 PM PST
Charles says:
Dude, whether or not a TOC is present in an E-book is entirely dependent on the publisher--not Amazon. A Nook will not help you at all with that. If there's no TOC in Kindle for iPad, then it won't be in any other ebook form either by the same publisher. There are plenty of ebooks with TOCs that show up just fine on K-for-iPad.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Publishing forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  50
Initial post:  Nov 23, 2011
Latest post:  Dec 9, 2014

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