Indesign Page Numbers

Documents, such as brochures, annual reports and newsletters often require page numbers. This is a straight-forward matter of using Master-Page elements and an automation feature of Indesign.

Firstly we double-click on a master-page thumbnail in the Pages panel (for example the default A-Master page) to go into the master page environment. This appears as a double-page spread which consists of a left and a right-hand page. This method of setting up pagination will work with various types of documents.

We can add our page numbers by first zooming down into the bottom left-hand corner of the page spread. We next select the Type tool, and click and drag to create a text box between the margin and the paper edge on the bottom left of the page. If we were creating standard text frame, we would now start typing out our text. Since we are creating page numbers, however, we right-click within the text box and select Insert Special Marker and Current Page Number.

At this point the letter A will appear within the text box, since this is the A-Master. However this will change to an actual number when we double-click further down on a local page. To create further content we would now right-click again to choose Insert White Space and Em space. This will insert a large space which is the width of the capital letter M. We could now also add a vertical stroke if desired. This is located just above the Enter key on our keyboard. Or we can add a Glyph (which is short for hieroglyphics). To do so, we navigate to the Type drop-down menu at the top of the interface and select Glyphs. This operates similarly to the same function in Microsoft Word, namely that each font has its own set of glyphs and symbols. Note the fonts type on the bottom of the Glyphs dialog box, and also note the variety of options within the drop-down menu for symbols, etc.

Lastly we want to add another Em-space before typing in the title of our publication or document. To knock back the colour tone of this feature, for a more subtle appearance, simply triple-click on the text to select the whole line. Then go to the Swatches panel on the right-hand side of the interface to click on the colour arrow. Drag the value slider to 50%, for example, to see the pagimation text fade slightly. Next zoom out to see the double-page spread, select and copy this text frame over to the other page. You can do so by selecting the Selection tool, pressing Alt on the PC (or Option key on the Macintosh), and dragging the item onto the other page. It will now be necessary to adjust the order of the various items, also aligning the text to the right-hand side of the margins via the Paragraph options on the top Control panel.

We now need to double-check that the pagination has in fact worked. To do so double-click on a local page further down in the Pages panel. The letter A should be replaced by the actual page number. If this is not the case, you must go back into the master page to check it, or make sure that this master page has been applied to the local pages. We can do so by clicking and dragging the A-Master thumbnail down onto each local page thumbnail. Alternatively, either right-click on the Master page thumbnail icon, or in the Master Page options fly-out list choose Apply Master to Pages, and enter the page range.

Sections may also be added in the dialog box and alternative styles of numbering via the Numbering and Section Options.

Tom Gillan has been training Indesign to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. You can learn more about Indesign at Design Workshop Sydney.

This article was published on 30 May 2016 and has been viewed 420 times
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