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Section Options

If you want the section to begin with a specific page number, choose Start Page Numbering At and type the page number. Otherwise, if the page numbering simply continues from the previous section, use the Automatic numbering option.


You can enter a Section Prefix if you would like the page numbers to be preceded by a label of 5 characters or fewer. For example, enter “A-” if you want the pages within this section to appear as A-1, A-2, and so on. By default, InDesign adds a Section Prefix of “Sec1:” to the first section, and so on. This is incredibly annoying, and most of the time we just delete that prefix or replace it with our own.


The Style popup menu lets you determine whether the pages within a section are numbered using Arabic page numbering (which should be called “European” numbering, but don’t get us started!), Roman numerals, or letters.

Section Marker

InDesign’s Section Marker option lets you enter variable text that will be inserted whenever you use the Section Name command from the Insert Special Character menu. For example, see the header at the top of this page (the one that has the chapter number and title)? That was created with a single Section Marker character in a text frame on the master page. Then, for each chapter in this book, we started a new section and typed that number and title into the Section Marker field.

On each document page, the special character is replaced automatically with the proper section information. This is much faster than creating a different master page for each chapter.

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