Tcl Library Source Code

EuroTcl/OpenACS 11 - 12 JULY 2024, VIENNA

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doctoc_intro - doctoc introduction

Table Of Contents


doctoc (short for documentation tables of contents) stands for a set of related, yet different, entities which are working together for the easy creation and transformation of tables of contents for documentation. These are

  1. A tcl based language for the semantic markup of a table of contents. Markup is represented by Tcl commands.

  2. A package providing the ability to read and transform texts written in that markup language. It is important to note that the actual transformation of the input text is delegated to plugins.

  3. An API describing the interface between the package above and a plugin.

Which of the more detailed documents are relevant to the reader of this introduction depends on their role in the documentation process.

  1. A writer of documentation has to understand the markup language itself. A beginner to doctoc should read the more informally written doctoc language introduction first. Having digested this the formal doctoc language syntax specification should become understandable. A writer experienced with doctoc may only need the doctoc language command reference from time to time to refresh her memory.

    While a document is written the dtp application can be used to validate it, and after completion it also performs the conversion into the chosen system of visual markup, be it *roff, HTML, plain text, wiki, etc. The simpler dtplite application makes internal use of doctoc when handling directories of documentation, automatically generating a proper table of contents for them.

  2. A processor of documentation written in the doctoc markup language has to know which tools are available for use.

    The main tool is the aforementioned dtp application provided by Tcllib. The simpler dtplite does not expose doctoc to the user. At the bottom level, common to both applications, however sits the package doctoools::toc, providing the basic facilities to read and process files containing text in the doctoc format.

  3. At last, but not least, plugin writers have to understand the interaction between the doctools::toc package and its plugins, as described in the doctoc plugin API reference.


doctoc does not stand alone, it has two companion formats. These are called docidx and doctools, and they are for the markup of keyword indices, and general documentation, respectively. They are described in their own sets of documents, starting at the docidx introduction and the doctools introduction, respectively.

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category doctools of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.

When proposing code changes, please provide unified diffs, i.e the output of diff -u.

Note further that attachments are strongly preferred over inlined patches. Attachments can be made by going to the Edit form of the ticket immediately after its creation, and then using the left-most button in the secondary navigation bar.


docidx_intro, doctoc_lang_cmdref, doctoc_lang_faq, doctoc_lang_intro, doctoc_lang_syntax, doctoc_plugin_apiref, doctools::toc, doctools_intro


markup, semantic markup, table of contents, toc


Documentation tools


Copyright © 2007 Andreas Kupries