Simple page numbers using Master Pages

I’ve already spoken a bit about setting up your Master pages in the last entry. For this one we’re going to focus a bit on setting up page numbers. I’ll outline the steps to set up these numbers.

1. Create a new document or open an existing document to work in and open the Pages palette.

2. Double click the Master page you want to work on in the top of the palette (If working with facing pages, choose the left page to start with).

3. Using the Type Tool to draw a small text box wherever you want to add your page numbers. In my case I’m adding them to the lower left corner of the left page, lower right for the right page.

The text box will appear as a series of dots rather than the solid line you get when drawing a text box in a regular document page. This is an indicator that whatever is placed in that text box will be repeated on each consecutive page.

4. With the type tool still selected, in the menu bar go to Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Current Page Number as in the example below.

This will put a placeholder letter ‘A’ in the text box. At this point everything is still editable.

5. Select the ‘A’ and change the typeface, style, size, orientation, etc. until it looks the way you want your page numbers to look in the document.

DO NOT DELETE AND REPLACE WITH A NUMBER. If you do this then every page to follow will have that number rather than the natural progression of page numbers.

6. Once you have it looking the way you want it, and if you are working on facing pages, then drag a copy (Option + Click & Drag) to the other page, making certain to adjust your orientation to match.

The page numbers in the regular document pages will follow the same rules you set in the master pages.

You’ll notice that even on my regular document page, the page number still has the dotted box around it. That allows me to tell it’s a carryover from the Master pages and ordinarily would only be edited in the Master page.

Feel free to add any graphic elements that you want carried throughout your document to the Master pages as well.

In the next blog I will cover how to adjust page numbers to only appear on specified pages, how to set up sections and change how those sections will be numbered (as in the case of appendices, Glossaries and the like).

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