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One thing you could try – and I’ve only done a quick experiment with it so I don’t know how well it will work in practice – is to simply have the sub-heading paragraph style with a fill of None.
See attached image where the anchors in the right-hand text frame show where the text is but can’t be seen.

image.thumb.png.6f8f830c85547bb7d4d3696082efa5c4.png

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2 hours ago, pbasdf said:

Personally I would add a separate text frame for the subheading, with the appropriate text and text style, and then hide (untick) it in the layers panel.  It will be included in the ToC whether it is hidden or visible.

I was thinking of that, too.

One thing to watch out for, though: The order of items in the TOC will be based on several factors. If you have multiple text frames on a page, items from the one lowest in the layer stack (Layers panel) for that page will appear before items from frames higher in the stack. If there are items in the "main" text frame that are in the TOC, and invisible items in the other frames, getting the order correct in the TOC could be tricky.

In that case, Pinning the secondary frames into the main frame at the appropriate spots may help, but I haven't played with that to see the effects for sure.

-- Walt

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On 6/29/2022 at 4:17 PM, BlueSailing said:

Could I create a new layer for the subheading and send it to the back - so that it can't be seen there.

That is what I would do. With the caveat the @walt.farrell pointed out about how the position of the layer determines the location in the ToC, you may want to have the invisible thing at the bottom of the ToC instead of the top. 

 I have also had good results with the no fill for a Character style applied to the headings, this has the added bonus of being able to find them with a Find > Character Style > My Invisible Character Fill.

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I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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The invisible subheadings seem to be working great for me. I can move them anywhere on a page and I'm not really having any issues with layers.  It did take me a 2nd look to understand what an 'invisible' setting is.  0% opacity duh.  Just seems so easy.  Thanks everyone!

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16 hours ago, BlueSailing said:

It did take me a 2nd look to understand what an 'invisible' setting is.  0% opacity duh.

Our explanations could have been clearer. (Do you see what I did there? (I did it again [sly pun face emoticon]))

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.6.8

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I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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