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Klaus Nordby, one of our good-natured Norwegian hecklers, has produced a ray of sunshine in the midst of a deep, dark Scandanavian winter by coming up with a wonderful little trick involving adding sequential numbers inside a paragraph. For example, 1. this is the first clause of this sentence; 2. this is the second; and 3. this is the third. That’s not a big deal to type, of course, but if you had dozens of them and you needed to insert or remove numbering frequently, doing it manually would be a hassle.

The last option that we’ll present for assigning invoice numbers is according to project number. This is most useful for companies that take on projects where that number is the most important reference for the work. These invoice numbers will include the project number, customer number, and sequence number, with the sequence number at the end. An invoice numbering system organized by project could either begin with the customer number:
No matter how light the file might be, if you need 1000 units, that means you send a 1000-page file to the printer if you use Data Merge, that is not as efficient as sending one page and 1000 numbers to insert in the print stream, but to do that you need a plugin, which is what that page Bob directed you is leading up to. I've never used the program Harbs has mentioned, but he's a pretty smart guy and if he says it works well, I'd take a look.
The sequential numbers required for the stationery are typically prepared in a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel and then exported as a txt or csv file for use with the Data Merge palette. However, a free script called Indys Number Generator written by Stanislav Antos can create sequential numbers without having to open any spreadsheet software. The script has been available for some time but I feel it is a hidden gem and definitely worth discussing.

I answer readers' questions about Microsoft Office when I can, but there's no guarantee. When contacting me, be as specific as possible. For example, "Please troubleshoot my workbook and fix what's wrong" probably won't get a response, but "Can you tell me why this formula isn't returning the expected results?" might. Please mention the app and version that you're using. I'm not reimbursed by TechRepublic for my time or expertise, nor do I ask for a fee from readers. You can contact me at susansalesharkins@gmail.com.


Yes, I’m a little confused by your brief too. The script that I describe here will create an array of numbers using any step value that it offers, including by 1 number each time. Whether you put the resulting list directly into InDesign as text, or indirectly using the Data Merge feature is up to you. Perhaps learn more about the Data Merge feature of InDesign itself – David Blatner has a great series on Lynda.com that will explain Data Merge much more than I can on this thread.
It's also possible to consecutively number list items in InDesign. Create a text frame for your list and click the numbered list button to insert a list. Type your list items, pressing your "Enter" key between items. InDesign consecutively numbers the list automatically; you can change the number it begins with and the style of the numerals. Press your "Alt" key (Windows) or "Option" key (Mac OS) while clicking on the numbered list button to open a dialog where you can modify those options.
Typos can easily occur, and spelling errors in the company name or other more trivial information on the invoice doesn’t necessarily require correcting. If the invoice number contains an error, though, failing to correct it may prove painful. A general rule of thumb in accounting is that finalized invoices should never be deleted, so when correcting an error it’s recommended to create a new invoice with the correct information and send that to your customer along with a note of correction, so that evidence of the correction can accompany all of the evidence in both your books and the books of your customer, therefore avoiding any future confusion. If the customer has already paid, make a correction adjustment on a future invoice, or issue another invoice or credit correcting the mistake.
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.
2. Yes, The code should be entered using CodeBuilder. Where you enter it depends on how and when you want to trigger the generation of the next number. If you want to use a button, that works. And no, you don’t use 000 in the NZ() function. If you want to DISPLAY at least 3 digits with leading zeros, then you do that in the Format function. Note, though, you will need to change that when you hit 1000 POs.
CK Note: Word 2007 - 2013 interface has an different automatic numbering scheme which I have been told is much less subject to corruption. Microsoft Word 2010 Bible by Herb Tyson, MVP. However numbering is still very imperfect in these later versions. I still recommend following Shauna Kelly's step-by-step instructions (see above) if setting up numbering in a template or in a document likely to be heavily edited. If you start without doing this and end up with "spaghetti numbering," fixing it will be a very large chore!

You will occasionally want to place an unnumbered paragraph in the middle of a sequence, but the moment you hit Enter, another paragraph number pops up. To fix this, toggle paragraph numbering off by pressing the paragraph numbering button you used for the previous paragraph. (If you use the button’s drop-down, choose None as the numbering scheme.) Unfortunately, the paragraph settings won’t revert to Normal here; it’ll usually have the paragraph indented 0.25. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+Q to strip paragraph settings out, then revise the formatting as you wish.


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I’m not sure which version of InDesign first introduced printing Thumbnails like this, but even if yours doesn’t support that, your printer driver may have a similar feature of its own. Check the printer’s own dialog box by clicking “Setup…” near the bottom left corner of the Print dialog and dismissing the warning, then clicking “Preferences…” in Windows’s Print dialog that comes up (I’m not sure how to access this on Mac OS X, but I’m pretty sure there’s an easy way). For instance, on many HP printers, the feature you want is called “Pages per sheet” and has a drop-down offering 1, 2, 4, 9, or 16 pages per sheet.
If you need to apply numbering within a paragraph rather than to the entire paragraph, you use Word's ListNum feature. Using the ListNum feature will allow you to take advantage of the numbering system you're currently using in your document (it will use the one you implemented most recently if you're not currently using a numbering system). The ListNum Field is available in Word 97 and later and interacts with multi-level list numbering (which should be linked to styles as set forth here). Here is a brief explanation of differences between the ListNum field and the Seq field.
If you’re producing any kind of numbered items in-house that are multiple-up on a sheet where you need to control all the variables to meet your production needs, the autonumbering feature through numbered lists is the way to go! Just step and repeat away & InDesign will do all the work. No need to fool with a seperate “numbers” file or deal with a data merged document. I think it’s by far the best option for basic numbering.
When generating invoice numbers based on the customer number, you can choose whether or not to include any date information. Either way, the number will begin with the customer number and then be followed by the date (if desired) and the sequence number. No matter how you decide to structure your invoice number, the sequence number always needs to come at the end. This makes it easiest to find and to differentiate from the others in its sequence.
I'm producing gift certificates for a restaurant and they need to be numbered sequentially from 0001 to 0250. Is there any way to do this easily as opposed to numbering each manually? I'm sure I could probably work it out with a print shop, but the job was thrust on me last minute and my options are limited by the short turn around time. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!...
Scott, you’ll need to be more specific to help me. When you say “put this code behind a save button” what exactly does that mean – where do I type the code you provided? Yes, I do have a Save Button, which saves the record and closes the form (but currently has no way to save the next sequential Project ID). I want show this next Project ID (number on the entry form) and have that new number flow to the table along with the other data on the form.
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.
Each section within an InDesign document can be numbered differently. This allows you to use one type of numerals to consecutively number a document's preface or other introductory materials and another numeral system for the remainder of the document. You must first define your document's sections, and then you can add section markers or page markers to your master pages. Apply the master page to document pages to include the section and page numbers on the document pages.

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