I want to generate a TOC whose numbers are a different colour form the actual text. Here an example made in Photoshop:

Table of content with coloured numbers

As you can see the leading numbering is in blue, but the text itself is in black.

I sadly have no idea how to recreate this in InDesign. When I make a table of contents I can choose a Paragraph style for the text, but no character style for the numbering (at least I cannot find it). Also when I add numbering in my paragraph style, I simply have 2 numberings ... one in the desired colour and one in black (coming from the TOC). This obviously is not what I desire.

  • May I ask if the numbers is coming from the original source? For example the "1." before "Introduction" how are you creating that?
    – Mamoon
    Feb 8, 2018 at 10:32
  • @Mamoon yes, the headings in the document themselves are numbered: imgur.com/a/h9ziS
    – CrazyQwert
    Feb 8, 2018 at 10:37
  • Cool. are these automated numberings created via Paragraph Styles or how did you create them?
    – Mamoon
    Feb 8, 2018 at 10:52
  • 1
    Ahhh, that has not been accounted for! So that is a call for "Nested Styles" in the Paragraph Style you applied for the TOC! Under the Paragraph styles There is "Drop Caps and Nested Styles" Under nested styles select the Character Style you want the number to be and select (through // 1 // . ) imgur.com/a/m9BwM For the numbers 2.1. (select through // 2 // . )
    – Mamoon
    Feb 8, 2018 at 11:27
  • 1
    Yes exactly! Chose /Tab Characters/ from the drop down menu. That means it will apply the Character style to every character until it reaches the first tab. imgur.com/a/GZyJK
    – Mamoon
    Feb 8, 2018 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


It seems you need to use Nested Styles for the Paragraph Style assigned under TOC.

It should use something like this.

enter image description here

This will apply a Character Style to Characters from the beginning of the Paragraph and stops when it reaches the first Tab, which in this case is the one right after your List Numbering.

Good luck!

  • Anytime! Good luck. Will be nice to show us the final designs!!!
    – Mamoon
    Feb 8, 2018 at 12:00

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