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I am currently working on the conversion of the production workflow from Indesign to LaTeX for a scientific open access magazine.

This journal has a rather complex table of contents with 3 columns (see picture below). In the first column the contribution types (scientific articles, debates, essays, reviews) are listed. The second column contains chapter titles and author names. The third column contains the page numbers.

The journal is generally sorted by contribution types. However, these contribution types only appear in the table of contents, at no other place in the journal (and therefore LaTeX code).

Contributions that belong to the main topic of the issue (e.g. "climate change") are highlighted in grey. At the right margin of the grey background the text "main topic" is displayed vertically in white font. Different articles may or may not belong to the main topic (grey background). The white space between contributions belonging to the main topic must also be coloured grey.

In addition, there are debates (which may or may not belong to the main topic) which belong together in terms of content. Responses to the first contribution to a debate have to be indented.

I hope I have been able to describe the requirements for the table of contents in a way that is understandable.

Although I am quite familiar with LaTeX myself, I am overwhelmed by this TOC. I have read that the "etoc" package can be used to create complex TOCs. I've read the official documentation of the package, but I'm still not sure how to tackle the problem.

Hence my question to you: could such a table of contents be realized with etoc? Do you have any suggestions for solutions?

Thank you very much!

Complex TOC

  • I would suggest creating your own table of contents from scratch. First, how are the titles, pages and author names being entered? You can use \protected@write{\@auxout}{}{...} to get them from the text (replacing \section with custom comands like \article or \debate). You may need TikZ for the translucent boxes. – John Kormylo Jul 2 at 15:23
  • Dear John, thank you for your quick response. I'll take into account the advice you've given me and build the TOC from scratch. First I will inform myself about the TikZ-package and the options given for displaying translucent grey boxes. If I have any questions afterwards, I will ask them here. – analoguelight Jul 5 at 9:40

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