I would like to have a footer that shows page number, but I am using paper that I will cut in half after printing. What I've done is created a master page with two columns to facilitate this. But I think I'm going about this in the wrong way, since the page numbering variable is showing the same number beneath each column. Can anyone please point me to a different workaround? I would prefer to avoid moving to InDesign. Thanks.
The page number variable counts pages. And it seems you are having a layout where two pages have been put on one page. But the page variable is essentially just a number dedicated to pages, so you might as well create a numbered paragraph style which will count everytime it is used.
Or, set this up with the correct paper size (i.e., 5.5" x 8.5"), output to PDF and print 2 pages per sheet.