[Updated] Google Docs 'Outlines' or 'Table of Contents' disappeared or missing from documents? Here's the reason why
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on June 2, 2022) follows:
Released in March of 2006, Google Docs is a free word processor that can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere via the app or web browsers. It lets users create and edit documents with others in real-time.
Google Docs has several features that make it stand out from the rest of the competition such as collaboration, revision history, offline support, and quick citations.
But despite being a Google product, users have reported issues such as some getting the ‘This document is above the file size limit’ error message and text disappearing on iOS.
That said, Google Docs users are now reporting that the Table of Contents or Outlines is missing from all documents. If you are unaware, the feature lets users easily navigate to certain sections of word documents just by clicking it in the sidebar on the left.
Some have tried re-logging into their account, changing their browser, and clearing cookies but to no avail. Here are few reports from Google Doc users complaining about the Table of Contents missing from all documents.
My documents all have headings in them to make it easier to jump around to sections. Prior to today, those headings (usually words with larger font sizes and underlined or bolded, NOT the Heading 1, Heading 2, or Heading 3 tags) used to populate the sidebar on the left. Today, I opened several documents and those headings are now all gone. I have tried force reloading documents, I’ve tried disabling the only extension that I have installed, Chrome is updated to the newest version (101.0.4951.67), etc. This really needs to be fixed by Google.
I have a separate Google Doc for each of my customers I work with and I use these docs to keep all of my call notes. I have always entered a header in bold text for the call title/date. When I would make that text bold, it automatically added that header to the Outline on the left side of the doc. All of a sudden, my Outlines are blank even though the text within the doc hasn’t changed. Now I just have huge documents with no way to navigate the outline. Is there any way to get the Outline back for my existing docs?
A Diamond Product Expert recently commented on the issue and clarified that the function was deprecated. Here is what they had to say.
Using bold and larger point sizes to add “headings” to document outline has recently been deprecated, so, unfortunately, they will need to be added manually using the heading styles (Headings 1-6 only) feature built into Docs. You can use any text style you want for a specific heading — you don’t have to use the preset defaults if you have different preferences. In addition, using the built-in heading styles will allow for sublevels within document outline so you can more readily see the level of each heading.
They also shared a workaround that might help users with the problem.
Many are angry, frustrated, and confused about why Google suddenly decided to deprecate the function. Thankfully, the same expert has escalated the issue to the concerned team for further investigation as many are asking Google to restore the functionality.
Hello, Josh, I have escalated this issue to the team for investigation, as we’ve received several other notifications of this issue. I’ll report back in this thread whenever I receive an update or any insights from them.
We hope Google listens to its user base and restores the Table of Contents feature in the coming days. As always, we will be keeping an eye out for more information and update this space as and when required so stay tuned.
Update 1 (June 10)
05:32 pm (IST): A Google product expert has suggested a workaround that might help you resolve this issue. You can try it out and see if it helps.
Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Google Section so be sure to follow them as well.
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