Chapter numbers are good for long documents, they divide contents into separate documents. You can assign only one chapter number to a document. When you want different numbering styles within a document, you need to define desired ranges of pages as sections. You can assign different numbering formats to each section of a document.

How to Add Chapter Numbers in Documents?

Generally, chapter numbers are used in book file which constitutes a collection of documents. You can assign each document a different chapter numbers. If you want to break the content into different chapters within a document, you may use sections instead. Following are the steps for adding chapter numbers in documents.

  • Create a text frame at the location of document you want to insert chapter number.
  • Place the insertion point in the text frame and navigate to Type > Text Variables > Insert Variable > Chapter Number.
  • Customize numbering style and format by going to Layout > Numbering & Section Options.

If you want chapter number to appear on every page of documents, place the text frame on parent pages. Additionally, you may add any text just before or after chapter number. One important thing to remember is that an automatically generated table of contents does not include chapter numbers as prefixes. Therefore, you need to use section prefixes for that purpose instead.

How to Define Sections in a Document?

InDesign creates one section by default when you create a new document. If you want more than one section in a document, you can create them. Defining sections in a document lets you create different numbering styles within a document. For this to work, however, you need to set Page Numbering view as Section Numbering in Edit > Preferences > General. When you choose Page Numbering view as Absolute Numbering, the Pages panel sequentially displays document pages despite section definitions. Note also that the section includes document pages or spreads.

Follow these steps to define sections in an InDesign document:

  • Decide the range of pages or spreads to include in a section.
  • Select the first page of considered range for section in the Pages panel.
  • Go to Numbering & Section Options either through Layout menu or Pages panel menu.
  • Check Start Section and click ok.

Now a new section is created starting from the first page of range (previously selected page) to the end page of that document. If your intended end of section is something different from the end of document pages, you need to end the section at your desired page. For this, you should again define a new section on the first page following an intended section.

In addition, you can also edit or remove the existing sections in a document. Double-click section indicator icon in Pages panel if you want to edit a section, and deselect Start Section to delete a section.

How to Style Numbering in a Document?

You can customize sections and numbering in a document to suit your preferences and needs. You can change the styles of chapter numbers, section markers, and document page numbers. For this purpose, you need to navigate to Numbering & Section Options either through Layout menu or Pages panel menu. If you want to change numbering style of particular section, click section indicator icon to select that section before navigating to Numbering & Section Options.

In the Numbering & Section Options dialog box, you can customize the following options:

  1. Automatic Page Numbering – Select this option to continue page numbers from previous section and to make page numbers update automatically.
  2. Start Page Numbering At – Sets starting page number for a current section.
  3. Section Prefix – It sets the label or prefix for section identification. If you check Include Prefix When Numbering Pages option, the prefix will display in table of contents and print pages.
  4. Style – Numbering style for document pages.
  5. Section Marker – A label or text that appears on document pages where you have inserted Section Marker by going to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Section Marker.
  6. Style (Document Chapter Numbering):
    • Style – Sets style for document chapter numbers.
    • Automatic Chapter Numbering – It sets document chapter numbers sequentially.
    • Start Chapter Numbering At – It sets start value of chapter numbering.
    • Same As Previous Document In The Book – This option considers current document as a part of previous document in a book and sets the same chapter number as the previous document.

How to Add Section Markers in a Document?

When you insert section markers in a document, they help to compart document pages according to sections defined in a document. Section marker inserts a text that is associated with a section. You can format text similarly inserted by section marker as you format any text. You can add section markers in parent pages to generate text labels for sections in document pages.

You can follow these processes to add section markers in parent pages:

  • Click on Text tool to add text frame on parent page.
  • Activate insertion point in the text frame.
  • Go to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Section Marker.
  • This will display Section text on the parent page. However, it will display the value of Section Marker field in Numbering & Section Options dialog box ( Layout > Numbering & Section Options ) on document pages.

You may read InDesign’s official article about page numbering, chapters, and sections.

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