InDesign’s automatic page numbers work well enough, but what about special cases? Some documents require pages to be omitted from total page counts. Other documents use several different systems. Sometimes section numbers or special codes must be included. Well, don’t start typing in those numbers manually, because InDesign can handle it—and quite gracefully, too.

The process of setting up chapter and volume numbers is essentially the same as setting up page numbers. You can use these numbering elements as a way to keep track of any number of items. Yes, they are labeled “chapters” and “volumes,” but if you ignore the labels, you’ll see that you can keep track of any “section” in a document. In fact, if you count page numbers, chapter numbers, volume numbers, and secondary page numbers, you’ll see that you have four different numbering methods at your disposal.


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.
If you want numbered headings to be underlined, but do not want a line under the number, it can be difficult if you don't know how it works. This is because by default, the format of the number follows the format of the text that follows it. For example, let's say you want to underline a paragraph in a Heading 2 style. Chances are it will look like this:
Page numbering is set within each document (see Book Design Made Simple, page 245). To set your page numbering to automatic, start by opening the document containing your front matter. Your front matter will have a separate page numbering system from the rest of your book, using lowercase roman numerals. Go to the Pages panel, click on the thumbnail image of the first page to highlight it, then click Numbering & Section Options in the Pages fly-out menu. Select Automatic Page Numbering at the top, and lowercase roman numerals in the Page Numbering Style drop-down menu, as shown below. Click OK, and all the pages in the document will now be numbered with lowercase roman numerals starting with number i.
You may wonder whether typing 1, 2, and 3 would be easier than using the ListNum field. Although doing that may be easier initially, the value of using the ListNum field becomes apparent when you cut and paste. When a paragraph contains multiple numbered items that you move or delete, Word automatically updates the ListNum fields. Using ListNum fields assures you of accurate numbering within a paragraph throughout the document.
A single InDesign document can contain up to 9,999 pages, but page numbers can be as large as 999,999. (For example, you can correctly number a 100‑page document that starts on page 9,949.) By default, the first page is a recto (right) page numbered 1. Odd-numbered pages always appear on the right; if you use the Section Options command to change the first page number to an even number, the first page becomes a verso (left) page.
The heading here could be anything: affirmative defenses in an answer, articles in a contract, etc. It doesn’t matter; the technique is the same with only slight variations. The result is that you’ll have a heading saved in your Quick Parts that will be numbered correctly, no matter how many items you add or delete. This makes this technique particularly useful in building templates for common documents; because it’s always easier to delete than add, they’ll re-number themselves after editing.
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.
If you want numbered headings to be underlined, but do not want a line under the number, it can be difficult if you don't know how it works. This is because by default, the format of the number follows the format of the text that follows it. For example, let's say you want to underline a paragraph in a Heading 2 style. Chances are it will look like this:
There are lots of options. For instance, you might reduce the amount of space between the number and the text by changing the Text indent at setting. Or, you might center the heading by choosing Center from the Number alignment dropdown. For even more options, click More to expose several more settings. You could use the Apply changes to option when setting level 1 to the I, II, III numbering style instead of changing it for each level.
The first step is to decide if you want to include a label with the number. For example, you might want the word “Chapter” to appear before the actual chapter number. If you want to include a label, type it in the Custom Page Numbering Format text box. Next, select a numbering style from one of the list boxes, and click the Insert in Format button to insert the numbering code in the Custom Page Numbering Format text box.
To “manually” insert a page number, position the insertion point where you want the page number to appear, and then choose Format > Page > Insert Page Number. In the Insert Page Number dialog box (see Figure 2), the Page option is already selected, so you simply choose Insert to insert the page number. Notice that you can also use this dialog box to insert chapter or volume numbers.
Microsoft Publisher, the desktop publishing component of the Professional version of the Office Suite, can perform many time-saving tasks for busy business owners, including layout and design work. It can even help you avoid a shopping run to try to find tickets for your next employee picnic, holiday giveaway or executive board meeting. Create your own tickets, including the vital sequential ordering needed for raffles or attendance tracking, using Publisher’s page numbering. With a few tricky manipulations of the page number process, you can start running the numbers in an entirely new fashion.

All of this happens in the Bullets & Numbering dialog box, shown below. You will definitely want to use paragraph styles for this. My first one is called Chapter title. You will need to begin by changing the List Type to Numbers for all of the levels, and you must both name the List and use the same named list for all Levels. You do this by selecting the List > New List.
To “manually” insert a page number, position the insertion point where you want the page number to appear, and then choose Format > Page > Insert Page Number. In the Insert Page Number dialog box (see Figure 2), the Page option is already selected, so you simply choose Insert to insert the page number. Notice that you can also use this dialog box to insert chapter or volume numbers.

In this situation I would suggest using an Alternate Layout. Once the content is final, choose Create Alternate Layout from the Pages panel menu. Make sure to create the new layout the same size and orientation as the original and then use the Numbering and Section Options dialog to specify the numbering required for the second catalog. The Print dialog will then let you select which layout to print.

I have a document where in I have to make two kinds of page numbering, A catalog (individually made) which should always start at page 1, and the other is a compiled version where the pages should be a continuous page. They both have the same content but with different output so I tried using layers, but fail to set the page numbering to auto. because setting them would affect both layers.


A single InDesign document can contain up to 9,999 pages, but page numbers can be as large as 999,999. (For example, you can correctly number a 100‑page document that starts on page 9,949.) By default, the first page is a recto (right) page numbered 1. Odd-numbered pages always appear on the right; if you use the Section Options command to change the first page number to an even number, the first page becomes a verso (left) page.

When the “Current Page Number” placeholder sits on a master page, every page to which you assigned that specific master page will display this variable – the number will change automatically on every page. If you change the style assigned to the placeholder on the master page (let’s say you set it to bold), all page numbers will update to that style (all numbers will become bold).
If you want numbered headings to be underlined, but do not want a line under the number, it can be difficult if you don't know how it works. This is because by default, the format of the number follows the format of the text that follows it. For example, let's say you want to underline a paragraph in a Heading 2 style. Chances are it will look like this:
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