I'd like a section start to stay with content so that if extra content is added before it, it "sticks" (stays with the content on the page to which it was assigned at the time) and doesn't have to be reset.
FWIW I'd like to do this as a workaround to continuous footnote numbering...
I'm sorry, I don't understand this question. Would you mind trying again, including screenshots so that we know what it is you are trying to accomplish?
OP is asking for what most of us have wanted for a long time: having parent page assignments follow chapter headings etc. as the text flow changes.
Can't think of many features I'd put higher, myself. Even in quick projects, I spend more time touching up parent page assignments than any other general layout detail, most of which can be "set and forget" if you know the methods.
Ah. That makes sense. This would be somewhat similar to FrameMaker's master page mapping table to attach a master page to paragraph style, but the twist would be to allow footnote renumbering to also be attached to the master page.
This has been logged as a feature request already: https://indesign.uservoice.com/forums/601021-adobe-indesign-feature-requests/suggestions/35852311-as.... It needs more votes to get Adobe's attention.
In the meantime, I would break the sections into their own files and then pull them back together into a book.
Going to a Book adds management complexity, perhaps out of scale to a smaller document. I don't know that I want 5-8 files in a ~50 page book. It also only solves the problem for the first page of each chapter; if a chapter file changes between text on a last verso page or a blank one, you still (in some layout styles) have to apply a different base page in each case.
Not arguing with you. Just puzzled that this hasn't been sorted out long ago, given the amount of effort and vast options for other, somewhat lesser layout flow issues.
I suspect there's a major (code level) structural disconnect between the base page assignments and the text flow that makes this a lot harder than it seems... but then, some other big hurdles have been fixed in the last few years, too.
Thanks for the note.
Unfortunately, I'm trying to avoid using a book file - though this project is about 250 pages, there is a lot of content imported from Word, and styles need to be managed.
If ID had the ability to use "parent" style documents that automatically updated across book file chapters (like global CSS Style Sheets), it would be great. As James noted, it adds unnecessary complexity.
FWIW, being able to restart footnote markers would solve this. (Well, robust endnote control, too...)
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I totally understand the frustration with the feature limitations. (FWIW, I read the fourth word in your original post as "selection" and "not section" which is why I was initially confused. 🙄)
And you do know you can sync styles across book documents, right? See "Synchronize book documents" on this page: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/creating-book-files.html
Within a single file, there is no way to automate this in the current versions of InDesign. (Scripting can circumvent all sorts of feature limitations but it's not my area of expertise). I would suggest logging feature requests on the uservoice site, and then if you don't want to use a book, just resign yourself to manually moving section starts as necessary for now.
I do mostly long document work, and so have one more idea—you might explain to the client how cumbersome it is to move the section starts around, and see if they will let you leave them off until you are in the last round of edits. That sort of request doesn't fly with some folks, but it might be worth asking.