Generate a markdown TOC (table of contents) for a README or any markdown files, using remarkable. Used by assemble, verb, and lots of other projects on GitHub. API and CLI.
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Generate a markdown TOC (table of contents) with Remarkable.

Table of Contents

(TOC generated by verb using markdown-toc)


Install with npm:

$ npm install --save markdown-toc


Usage: markdown-toc [--json] [-i] <input>

  input:  The markdown file to parse for table of contents,
          or "-" to read from stdin.

  --json: Print the TOC in json format

  -i:     Edit the <input> file directly, injecting the TOC at <!-- toc -->
          (Without this flag, the default is to print the TOC to stdout.)



  • Can optionally be used as a remarkable plugin
  • Returns an object with the rendered TOC (on content), as well as a json property with the raw TOC object, so you can generate your own TOC using templates or however you want
  • Works with repeated headings
  • Uses sane defaults, so no customization is necessary, but you can if you need to.
  • filter out headings you don't want
  • Improve the headings you do want
  • Use a custom slugify function to change how links are created


  • Won't mangle markdown in code examples in gfm code blocks that other TOC generators mistake as being actual headings (this happens when markdown headings are show in examples, meaning they arent' actually headings that should be in the toc. Also happens with yaml and coffee-script comments, or any comments that use #)
  • Won't mangle front-matter, or mistake front-matter properties for headings like other TOC generators


var toc = require('markdown-toc');

toc('# One\n\n# Two').content;
// Results in:
// - [One](#one)
// - [Two](#two)

To allow customization of the output, an object is returned with the following properties:

  • content {String}: The generated table of contents. Unless you want to customize rendering, this is all you need.
  • highest {Number}: The highest level heading found. This is used to adjust indentation.
  • tokens {Array}: Headings tokens that can be used for custom rendering



Use as a remarkable plugin.

var Remarkable = require('remarkable');
var toc = require('markdown-toc');

function render(str, options) {
  return new Remarkable()
    .use(toc.plugin(options)) // <= register the plugin

Usage example

var results = render('# AAA\n# BBB\n# CCC\nfoo\nbar\nbaz');

Results in:

- [AAA](#aaa)
- [BBB](#bbb)
- [CCC](#ccc)


Object for creating a custom TOC.

toc('# AAA\n## BBB\n### CCC\nfoo').json;

// results in
[ { content: 'AAA', slug: 'aaa', lvl: 1 },
  { content: 'BBB', slug: 'bbb', lvl: 2 },
  { content: 'CCC', slug: 'ccc', lvl: 3 } ]


Insert a table of contents immediately after an opening <!-- toc --> code comment, or replace an existing TOC if both an opening comment and a closing comment (<!-- tocstop -->) are found.

(This strategy works well since code comments in markdown are hidden when viewed as HTML, like when viewing a README on GitHub README for example).


<!-- toc -->
- old toc 1
- old toc 2
- old toc 3
<!-- tocstop -->

## abc
This is a b c.

## xyz
This is x y z.

Would result in something like:

<!-- toc -->
- [abc](#abc)
- [xyz](#xyz)
<!-- tocstop -->

## abc
This is a b c.

## xyz
This is x y z.

Utility functions

As a convenience to folks who wants to create a custom TOC, markdown-toc's internal utility methods are exposed:

var toc = require('markdown-toc');
  • toc.bullets(): render a bullet list from an array of tokens
  • toc.linkify(): linking a heading content string
  • toc.slugify(): slugify a heading content string
  • toc.strip(): strip words or characters from a heading content string


var result = toc('# AAA\n## BBB\n### CCC\nfoo');
var str = '';

result.json.forEach(function(heading) {
  str += toc.linkify(heading.content);



Append a string to the end of the TOC.

toc(str, {append: '\n_(TOC generated by Verb)_'});


Type: Function

Default: undefined


  • str {String} the actual heading string
  • ele {Objecct} object of heading tokens
  • arr {Array} all of the headings objects


From time to time, we might get junk like this in our TOC.

[.aaa([foo], ...) another bad heading](#-aaa--foo--------another-bad-heading)

Unless you like that kind of thing, you might want to filter these bad headings out.

function removeJunk(str, ele, arr) {
  return str.indexOf('...') === -1;

var result = toc(str, {filter: removeJunk});
//=> beautiful TOC


Type: Function

Default: Basic non-word character replacement.


var str = toc('# Some Article', {slugify: require('uslug')});


Type: String|Array

Default: *

The bullet to use for each item in the generated TOC. If passed as an array (['*', '-', '+']), the bullet point strings will be used based on the header depth.


Type: Number

Default: 6

Use headings whose depth is at most maxdepth.


Type: Boolean

Default: true

Exclude the first h1-level heading in a file. For example, this prevents the first heading in a README from showing up in the TOC.


Type: Boolean

Default: true

Strip extraneous HTML tags from heading text before slugifying. This is similar to GitHub markdown behavior.


Related projects


Pull requests and stars are always welcome. For bugs and feature requests, please create an issue.


Commits Contributor
190 jonschlinkert
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Building docs

(This document was generated by verb-generate-readme (a verb generator), please don't edit the readme directly. Any changes to the readme must be made in

To generate the readme and API documentation with verb:

$ npm install -g verb verb-generate-readme && verb

Running tests

Install dev dependencies:

$ npm install -d && npm test


Jon Schlinkert


Copyright © 2017, Jon Schlinkert. Released under the MIT license.

This file was generated by verb-generate-readme, v0.4.1, on January 15, 2017.