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Generating Tables of Contents for Github Projects with PowerShell

Last updated on September 16, 2017

Table Of Contents


Initial Idea

Let”s generate a table of contents for a Github flavored Markdown document in PowerShell (because nobody else seems to have.)


Clarifying Our Requirements

After talking with Claudio, he didn”t just want a TOC for a particular markdown file (though that”s nice), but he also wanted a TOC for a set of files in a folder. I decided to do the first one, and it looks like Claudio just finished the second.

I did some googling and found that Github flavored markdown supports a special form of anchor linking as it isn”t supported in vanilla MD. I also found that beyond this there wasn’t a good anchor link MD shortcut, so I took this tact (which cares more about readability than speed or length.)

You can use the function below, which was also run on this blog post to generate itself.


The Code

function Convert-StringToMarkdownTableOfContents {
    param ([string]$MarkdownDocument)

    $nl = [System.Environment]::NewLine
    $TOC = "## Table Of Contents$nl$nl"

    foreach ($line in $MarkdownDocument.Split( $nl )){
        if ($line -match "^(#+)\s(.*)$") {
            $Count = $Matches[1].Length
            $Content = $($Matches[2])

            $EncodedContent = ($Content -replace " ",''-'').ToLower()

            if ($Count -eq 1){
                $TOC += "- [$Content](#$EncodedContent)$nl"
            else {
                $TOC += "$("  " * $Count)* [$Content](#$EncodedContent)$nl"

            $MarkdownDocument = $MarkdownDocument -replace "(($line)\w*)",$(
                ''<a href = "#'+ $EncodedContent +''"></a>'' +
                $nl +
    return $TOC + $nl + $MarkdownDocument

You can download this code which generates this post Here.


Special Thanks

Special thanks to Cláudio Silva (PowerShell MVP) for giving me this fun idea!

Unlike Github Flavored Markdown, WordPress Markdown does not implement the anchor links, so in my blog they wont be clickable like they would github, sorry!

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