Some ( if not most ) pdf ebooks have the option to view the table of contents in a left navigation window. I would like to add this option to my document as well. Question: How to add a navigation window to a LaTeX generated PDF document?

  • well, I believe you can add bookmarks using hyperref. The regular navigation with sectioning commands is done automatically, I believe. At least I have never had to do something special to get it and acrobat shows a navigation pane with contents on all of my documents. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 11:22
  • You can always switch on/off the navigation pane, but every pdf has a default view. The option for showing the navigation pane by default is pdfpagemode=UseOutlines. Anyway, you can tell Acrobat to override the documents default settings.
    – matth
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 12:18
  • 1
    @ndroock1 maybe the following is also interesting for you: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1820/contents-in-pdf-bookmarks/…
    – matth
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 12:35
  • After following the steps below, the index still did not show for me. It turned out to be a problem of not re-loading the file. I was using Evince which automatically updates the view when the file is changed (awesome for working in $\LaTeX$) but the navigation window did not show until I actually closed and reopened the file. Hope this helps someone else. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


You can use a hyperref package. You'll have to start with a fresh .tex file compilation; i.e. no .aux file. You can add several option to the package as well, read the hyperref documentation. I presume you have your document well sectioned, the hyperref package generates the TOC entries in your viewer for chapters, bibliography, sections, abstract...etc. You might find different outcomes of TOC depending on your documentclass.

Here's a setup I use:


I added the last one as an extra since links should always anchor at the image not the caption.

  • I create my documents with TeXnicCenter, I would be lost otherwise. I hope it is compatible because it does generate .aux files. But let me have a look at hyperref first. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 11:38
  • @ndroock1: The TeX file will generate an aux file eitherway, what I'm saying is that it has to generate a new one. You could simply delete the aux file and let it compile with a new one after you add the hyperref package. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 11:43
  • Hi, I tried it and I see nothing visible change, particularly nothing any navigation pane or bookmark index. I use pdflatex to generate the pdf file.
    – peterh
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 15:37

As has been said, you need to use the hyperref package. Just add the following lines to your preamble:

    pdftitle={Your title here},
    pdfauthor={Your name here},
    pdfsubject={Your subject here},
    pdfkeywords={keyword1, keyword2},
    pdfpagemode=UseOutlines,    % this is the option you were lookin for

Usually, hyperref should be loaded as the last package (but every rule has exceptions).

  • 3
    +1 for the link to the exceptions
    – yo'
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 12:19
  • I am sorry, but I tried this and nothing has changed. There is still nothing navigation pane. Absolutely nothing.
    – peterh
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 15:29

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