# [Tex/LaTex] How to modify the space between the numbers and text of sectioning titles in the table of contents

I'm preparing a document using the book class. In the table of contents, the space between the subsection number and title is too wide. How to reduce it?

Without any packages:

In the standard documentclass without the influence of a package like titletoc you have to redefine the command \l@subsection. In the file book.cls you find the following settings:

\newcommand*\l@section{\@dottedtocline{1}{1.5em}{2.3em}}
\newcommand*\l@subsection{\@dottedtocline{2}{3.8em}{3.2em}}
\newcommand*\l@subsubsection{\@dottedtocline{3}{7.0em}{4.1em}}
\newcommand*\l@paragraph{\@dottedtocline{4}{10em}{5em}}
\newcommand*\l@subparagraph{\@dottedtocline{5}{12em}{6em}}


The command \@dottedtocline expects the following parameters:

\renewcommand{\l@<typ>}{\@dottedtocline{<level>}%
{<indentation>}%
{<numwidth>}}


To reduce the indentation of subsection you can do:

\makeatletter
\renewcommand*\l@subsection{\@dottedtocline{2}{1.8em}{3.2em}}
\makeatother


Example:

\documentclass{book}
\makeatletter
\renewcommand*\l@subsection{\@dottedtocline{2}{1.8em}{3.2 em}}
\makeatother
\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\chapter{foo}
\section{bar}
\subsection{foobar}
\end{document}


The method is equal for floating environments. The standard class book.cls provides \l@figure and and \l@table with the following settings:

\newcommand*\l@figure{\@dottedtocline{1}{1.5em}{2.3em}}
\let\l@table\l@figure


Package titletoc

By using the package titletoc you can set the indentation using \dottedcontents:

\dottedcontents{<section>}[<left>]{<above-code>}


Example

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage{titletoc}
\dottedcontents{subsection}[5.5em]{}{3.2em}{1pc}

\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\chapter{foo}
\section{bar}
\subsection{foobar}
\end{document}


The argument <section> can be somewhat irritating. The argument allows the name without a leading backslash so that figure and table are allowed, too.

Package tocloft

The package tocloft offers more than the following setting. The indentation is set by the length \cftXindent. The X stands for:

• part for \part titles
• chap for \chapter titles
• sec for \section titles
• subsec for \subsection titles
• subsubsec for \subsubsection titles
• para for \paragraph titles
• fig for figure \caption title
• tab for table \caption titles

Example:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage{tocloft}
\setlength{\cftsubsecindent}{2em}

\begin{document}

\tableofcontents
\chapter{foo}
\section{bar}
\subsection{foobar}
\end{document}


KOMA-Script

With a recent version of KOMA-Script one can use \RedeclareSectionCommand to change the entries in the table of contents as well. You can use that for all defined sectioning commands.

\documentclass{scrbook}
\RedeclareSectionCommand[%
tocindent=9em,tocnumwidth=7em,]{subsection}
\begin{document}

\tableofcontents
\chapter{foo}
\section{bar}
\subsection{foobar}
\end{document}


The modification of figure and table is equal to the standard class and defined as follow:

\newcommand*\l@figure{\@dottedtocline{1}{1.5em}{2.3em}}
\let\l@table\l@figure


With recent versions of KOMA-Scrpt, many parts of tocstyle are unneeded. It will be completely incorporated in KOMA-Script in the future.

To manipulate the toc (or other list of ...) in combination with a class of the KOMA bundle you should use the package tocstyle. The package is part of the KOMA bundle but with a separate documentation. The influence of the indentation is given indirectly by entryhook which can be set by \settocfeature

One of the benefits oftocstyle is the automatic calculation of the needed indentation.

Example:

\documentclass{scrbook}

\usepackage{tocstyle}
\usetocstyle{KOMAlike}
\settocfeature[toc][2]{entryhook}{\protect\hspace*{-1.5em}\nobreakspace}
\begin{document}

\tableofcontents
\chapter{foo}
\section{bar}
\subsection{foobar}
\end{document}