Adjusting page numbers based on multiple Master pages – Part II

Ok, so we’ve figured out how to use multiple Master pages, we understand how to set up our basic page numbers for the Master pages and we know that by default, the page numbers will continue on advancing just as we would expect them to.

InDesign likes to fight you a little on changing the numbers… for some reason it doesn’t like to make things easy on you. This is the way I generally deal with it.

In our document, which you will recall has a front and back cover as well as six two-column pages, we have already removed the number from the first page. However our first inside page has two as it’s page number. We want to change this.

At this point we will introduce the use of Sections in a document and how we can renumber our pages based on that Sections settings.

You’ll notice when looking at the bottom panel of the Pages palette that there is a small inverted triangle above the first page. That tells us that this is a section. Every section you create will have one of these triangles above it’s start page.

Let’s say we want all of our “B” pages to be in a section by themselves so we can number them separate from the two covers, then we first need to select our Section starter page. Right click the first “B” page and you will see several options. Though the one we want for this particular exercise is the last one, named Numbering and Section Options, we first need to deal with a couple of others.

There are two that will probably be checked that say “Allow Document Pages to Shuffle” and “Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle.” Uncheck these. What they do is change the layout the pages are currently in.

If you want to see how, go to the Numbering and Section Options, add a prefix and click the radio button to tell the section where to start. Everything shifts a bit and you now have two pages that think they are the front cover.

This is what we DON'T want our document to look like.

So we uncheck those two first. Whatever page we have selected at the time will be seen as the beginning of the Section so be certain you have the correct page selected when you go to Numbers and Section Options.

Let’s pause for a second and I’ll explain a little about what you find in the New Section window.

The first part of the window is the Start Section. It has two radio buttons which allow either InDesign to handle the numbering automatically or allow you to set how you want the Section to be numbered. Within the Page Numbering section below, you can set a Section Prefix, which helps InDesign keep track of what Section is what, set a Style, basically the way you want the numbering or lettering of the Section to look, set a Section Marker, which we will cover later, and the option of including the Prefix you create to be part of the numbering process, which I usually leave blank for regular documents.

The second part of the window is for Document Chapter Numbering which we will cover in a later entry.

Ok, back to our document.

We want the Section to be page one so first we click the radio button that says “Start Page Numbering at:” and make certain it has a 1 in it. Then go to Section Prefix and give it a unique name… I just used B so I can easily remember what Section goes with what Master Page.

When you click OK, you will notice that in the Pages palette all of the pages for that Section are numbered with the Prefix and page number, however in the actual document it leaves off the Prefix.

Page numbers for the Section

Your new Section extends to the end of the document, so if you want to exclude the back cover page, select it in the Pages palette, right click and set it up as it’s own Section.

To get rid of the number on the back cover, you can do it the same way you did for the cover, as posted in the last entry.

We will cover how to work with multiple sections in the next entry.


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