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Add table of content in Eleventy markdown blog

If you are writing a long article, then a table of content helps the reader to skim through your content effectively. In this blog, I will show you how to add a table of content to your Eleventy markdown blog.

Eleventy is a static site generator, like Hugo or Jekyll. Eleventy gives you free to structure your website in whatever way you like. This is why I like Eleventy more than any other static site generator.

Prerequisites to follow this guide

Before following this guide, create an Eleventy site by following official documentation and add some markdown files in it with multiple headers.

Add unique id to headings

Before generating a table of content for your articles, there must be associating ids to the heading elements. If there are no heading ids in your article, you can generate them using the markdown-it-anchor package.

As the name suggests, the markdown-it-anchor package depends on the markdown-it package, you have to install both in your Eleventy project.

npm install -D markdown-it markdown-it-anchor

Then add this plugin to your .eleventy.js file.

const markdownit = require("markdown-it");
const anchor = require("markdown-it-anchor");

module.exports = function (eleventyConfig) {
    eleventyConfig.setLibrary("md", markdownit().use(anchor));

Now run the eleventy --serve command and inspect your headings. You will find unique ids in the headings elements.

Generate Table of Content

Half of our work is done till this point. Now to generate a table of content in your Eleventy site, install the eleventy-plugin-toc plugin.

npm install -D eleventy-plugin-toc

Then configure this plugin in the .eleventy.js file.

const markdownit = require("markdown-it");
const anchor = require("markdown-it-anchor");
const tocPlugin = require("eleventy-plugin-toc");

module.exports = function (eleventyConfig) {
    eleventyConfig.setLibrary("md", markdownit().use(anchor));
    eleventyConfig.addPlugin(tocPlugin, { tags: ["h2", "h3"] });

Now go to your layout file and add the following code to generate a nice table of content.

  {{ content | toc | safe }}

I am using the nunjucks templating library, so I use an additional safe filter.

Now you can style the generated <nav> element as per your wish.


In this quick guide, you have learned how to add a table of content to the Eleventy Markdown blog. First, you have added unique ids to heading elements. Then generate a table content and link to the respective heading elements using those unique ids.

If you like this guide, please share it with your coding buddies.

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