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InDesign CS5 Quick Tutorial: Pages and Sections

February 28, 2011

Here’s a quick lowdown on page numbers, sections and how to get your numberings right for documents with front covers. This is an issue most people would come across when working with documents where the first page is not the first page but the front cover.

Managing Pages

For page options, you can either use the menu bar, layout> pages or the pages panel (window> pages to bring it up if it’s not).

Tip: For better pages panel thumbnail layout, go to flyout menu> uncheck vertical and > select bigger thumbnail.

Inserting pages:

Pages panel> ‘Insert new page’ icon new page inserts new page after selected page.

OR Pages panel>Holding ALT + clicking ‘insert new page’ icon new page opens a page dialog allowing more options.

Tip: When inserting new pages, always add in EVEN number to avoid layout disruption.

To quickly duplicate existing pages:

Pages panel> ALT + click + drag page thumbnail in between or at end of page thumbnail layout (this works for all other objects such as text and images).

Tip: Holding CTRL or CTRL + SHIFT to select specific or all pages works here too.

Inserting page numbers:

Pages panel> Master page

Tool panel> Text tool text tool > drag a box bigger than needed to where you want it (usually lower corners of page)

Menu bar> Type> insert special character> markers> current page number

(Keyboard shortcut: CTRL + SHIRT + ALT + N)


This is extremely helpful if you need to make it so your first page starts on the second or third page.

If starting from a new document: File> new> document> start page #> …(type starting number)

Pages panel> select page> flyout menu> numbering and section options> select start page numbering at>…(type starting number)

(Just press ok when a dialog comes up warning you of duplicate pages)

pages panel

The downward arrows indicate sections and clicking it also brings up the numbering and sections dialog. Doing so gives you options to change numbering style, i.e. roman numerals.

Important Note: If you are making the second page as the page one, deselect ‘allow document pages to shuffle’ under pages panel flyout menu. Otherwise you will end up with one single page (took me awhile to figure this out!) However, you don’t need to do this if your page one is on the third page.

Finding a specific page:

layout> go to page> …type in page number

For documents with duplicate page numbers (i.e. like the screenshot above) or with no ‘page 5’ for example, use absolute page numbering.

Just type ‘+ [page number]’

I’ve tried to strip down the info as much as possible because I find many tutorials online tend to be quite long winded despite not trying to. This tutorial assumes you have the software and should be followed accompanied with it. Hope it was useful.

Previous posts include CS5 App Windows and Moving around the document

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