I'm just learning the Table of Contents feature in inDesign, and have learned a lot from tutorials but can't figure this one out.

When I create a TOC or update the current TOC, it always defaults to having a character style applied, even though there are none being used through the TOC menu, including the page numbers (thought this was my problem, but no).

I have to update the TOC and then go to the Character Style menu and select none in order for the paragraph formatting for each item to work properly.

Any ideas why it's doing this every time a TOC is applied?


3 Answers 3


That probably happens because the paragraphs you are listing in the TOC has a Character Style assigned in the text. When the TOC lists them, it grabs not only the textual content but also the character style.

  • 1
    If you consistently want the character style to apply to your heading text but not in your table of contents, you can modify your heading paragraph style to auto-apply the character style with GREP. The character style will appear in your headings but not in the table of contents.
    – Merchako
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 7:56

It seems that I can't determine the style of the table. Each time I do "Update the TOC" or even enters the TOC menu, the style inherited from the content of the text is back. The TOC window lacks a specific style to the table, to override the inherited style. What I do is each time, assign the style I want. Boring but it seems ther's a better way, but I can't make it work:

InDesign TOC character styles grabbed from body text Any of these methods, I can't make it work. enter image description here


You should be able to fix this by specifying a paragraph style for your TOC

  • I am not sure if that will work. Doesn't a paragraph style always honor a character style?
    – magerber
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 20:01
  • Oops, You are right. Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 5:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.