Graph of contents

A graph of contents is a more structured alternative to a table of contents.

A table of contents can provide a useful overview of a document’s content. However, because of its limited form, some information about the structure of the document must be omitted.

If, instead, we use a graph of contents, we can convey additional information about the relationships between sections. In effect, we combine the table of contents with an argument map.

For example:

All men are mortal

Socrates is a man

Therefore, Socrates is mortal

Clicking on a dotted link brings up the graph. The label for the current section (as identified by the link used to bring up the graph) is bolded in the graph. Clicking a label in the graph hides the graph and scrolls to that section in the document. Clicking the background just hides the graph.

You can reorganize the graph by dragging a node to fix it into a position. For example, if you were skipping around in a large document, you could track which sections you’d read by dragging their nodes to the right margin. Double-clicking releases a node that’s been fixed in place.

This technique can be found in vivo in the post on biblometrics.