Is there a way to manually create a Table of Contents (by writing each item one by one), instead of using \tableofcontents which automatically generates one?

Here is why I need this. I need to compile several different PDF files into one single one. And those files are written by different document classes and in different settings; it is hard to put them into one single LaTeX file. So, I will put those PDF files together and only change page numbers. But then I need a table of contents page and I need to create this one out of nothing.

  • You can do that, for sure. How are you combining the final PDF? Will it use pdfpages? What \documentclass will you be using?
    – Werner
    Dec 14, 2016 at 3:00
  • I am kind of low-key. so I am just thinking to use acrobat to compile those pdf files into a single one, and directly revise the page number on that pad file... It is a job application, so basically I need to combine a cover letter, CV, and some other materials together.
    – redmouse
    Dec 14, 2016 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


Assume you have files file1.pdf (3 pages), file2.pdf (6 pages) and file3.pdf (9 pages) that you want to compile into a single PDF containing 19 pages, where the first page is a Table of Contents.

Construct the contents using a set of manual function for (say) \sections and \subsections. The idea would be to write directly to the .toc file the sectional unit number, title and page number:

enter image description here



% file1.pdf: pages  1- 3
% file2.pdf: pages  4- 9
% file3.pdf: pages 10-18



% Construct contents
\addsection{1}{File 1-1}{1}
\addsubsection{1.1}{File 1-1.1}{2}
\addsection{2}{File 1-2}{3}
\addsection{3}{File 2-1}{4}
\addsubsection{3.1}{File 2-1.1}{7}
\addsubsection{3.2}{File 2-1.2}{8}
\addsection{4}{File 2-2}{9}
\addsection{5}{File 3-1}{10}
\addsubsection{5.1}{File 3-1.1}{10}
\addsubsection{5.2}{File 3-1.2}{11}
\addsubsection{5.3}{File 3-1.3}{12}
\addsection{6}{File 3-2}{17}
\addsubsection{6.1}{File 3-2.1}{18}
\addsubsection{6.2}{File 3-2.2}{18}



You can expand the structure to lower levels, if needed.


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