Defined lists are often used to track paragraphs for numbering purposes. When you create a paragraph style for numbering, you can assign the style to a defined list, and paragraphs are numbered in that style according to where they appear in the defined list. The first paragraph to appear is given number 1 (“Table 1”), for example, and the next paragraph is given number 2 (“Table 2”), even if it appears several pages later. Because both paragraphs belong to the same defined list, they can be numbered consecutively no matter how far apart they are in the document or book.
While InDesign veterans may assume everyone already knows this, I can assure you I have worked with very sophisticated documents from designers who did not take advantage of this basic feature. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind as you tackle InDesign challenges is this: If it’s repetitious, tedious, or time-consuming, there’s probably a built-in solution right there in the program. You just need to go look for it.
Michelle Castle began writing professionally in 2005. She has written technology news and tutorials for consumers, brochure and web copy for the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, and promotional materials for religious nonprofits including the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University.
Because this document has facing pages, we want to insert page numbers on both the left and right pages. For now, navigate to the bottom-right corner of the right-hand page by zooming in (Ctrl + [Windows] or Cmd + [Mac]). Select the Type Tool (T) from the Tools Panel (Window > Tools) and drag to create a small text frame, resting the top of the frame against the margin.

By default, bullets and numbers inherit some of their text formatting from the first character in the paragraph to which they’re attached. If the first character in one paragraph is different from the first characters in other paragraphs, the numbering or bullet character may appear inconsistent with the other list items. If this is not the formatting you desire, create a character style for numbers or bullets and apply it to your list by using the Bullets And Numbering dialog box.
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