make TOC printable
Submitted by Michael Van Dorpe
(Sorry for the long proposal, I think it's worth thinking about)
A lot of documents contain a Table of Contents at the beginning of the document. This is very useful if you have a paper copy and you need to find your way through the document.
In an electronic document, a TOC at the beginning of the document is less useful. You have to scroll from the TOC down to the text and back, or otherwise you have to make hyperlinks to navigate from the table of contents to the text.
A much better way of navigating through electronic documents using the hierarchy of the document, is with the evince sidebar. This sidebar can contain an Index, if the pdf file contains the necessary tags to support this feature.
Using the sidebar index, there is no need to scroll up and down, you just use the sidebar to navigate.
Since I just showed that a TOC at the beginning of a document is good for printed documents, while it's not that useful for an electronic document, there are good reasons not to include a TOC of several pages at the beginning of you pdf's. This is something your pdf creator will have to take care of. E.g.: when you create a document in OpenOffice.org Writer, you can use proper styling to include the structure in the pdf, but I would suggest not to include a TOC.
That was the introduction; here's my proposal:
In evince, I would like to be able to print a TOC even if it is not part of the document.
More specifically: imagine I have a document with proper structuring but without a TOC taking the 2nd throught 5th page. I can read the document in evince, which will show me the title page, and immediately after that, the text body. I use the index sidebar for navigation. Then I want to print.
I ask evince to print "page 1", then a "TOC" (based on the index sidebar), and then print "page 2-end".
I'm not entirely sure how page numbers would be handled. I guess that the TOC could have it's own numbering scheme, without affecting the numbers that are already there. Another problem would be to take into account that some documents don't have a title page, therefore, some flexibility is needed. Also, it would probably be a good idea to leave the user the choice of how may levels deep the TOC should be. Finally, the layout of the TOC should probably quite simple, so that it can blend with any printed document.
Thank you for reading all this!