I have a list [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and in the paragraph style is set that the number [1, 2, 3, 4...] is of character style A. Now I set a variable for the character style A and it doesn't show up the number as expected. If I set some text with the character style A it works as expected.

The problem is only when the character style is in a list number....

I've found:

"The Running Header (Character Style)" variable will only find a character style that has been applied manually or is part of a standard nested style. It will not detect character styles that are part of a nested line style, GREP style, or any character style used to style the numbers in a numbered list."

Anyway to workaround this issue?

The objective of all of this is the following:

  • Each chapter has a letter and each chapter has various sub-chapters, that I think are named sections, which looks like this G1, where the G is the chapter and 1 is the section...
  • Then there are the pages that starts at each section so: G1 1, G1 2, G1 3, G2 1, G2 2...
  • any luck with this? just ran into it.
    – AndyL
    May 1, 2013 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


I've encountered the exact same problem, and have two solutions.

Solution 1

Follow this tutorial, which has a workaround based on cross-references. http://luckylion.de/vasco/tutorials/indesign_beyond_the_thesis/running_headline_numbering.php

A bit of work though, as you manually have to add cross-references for each subtitle.

Solution 2

Apply "Convert Numbering to Text" to everything when the document is finished. If you have a character style applied to your list numbers, this will make InDesign recognize it. The numbers in the list will, of course, no longer update atomatically if you add more later.

  • 2
    Hi 22633, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer! Could you, even shortly, give a summary of the solution given in the tutorial you link to? That way, the answer will still be valuable later, in case the link breaks. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Apr 25, 2014 at 16:08

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