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Change Default page numbering from Roman Numerals to Arabic

Participant ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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When adding sections to an InDesign doc the page numbering palette defaults to Roman numerals rather than Arabic. How can the default be changed to Arabic?

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

You could script the initial section creation with the Style set to Arabic. This sets the currently active page to a new section with Arabic—double-click a page in the Pages panel to set it to the active page:

 

app.activeDocument.sections.add({pageStart:app.activeWindow.activePage, pageNumberStyle:PageNumberStyle.ARABIC})

 

 

 

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Community Expert , Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

No, the script only works with the active page of the current document. All it does is create a new section starting at the currently active page with the numbering set to Arabic. It’s not that much of a time saver—just skips the need to open the Numbering & Sections Options... dialog

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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Hi @fredl65064644 , I think the Style you set for page 1’s Numbering & Section Options becaomes the defaul for New Sections:

Screen Shot 58.png

 

Screen Shot 60.png

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Participant ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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I guess I should make a suggestion for the preferences. In book work, there are often frontmatter pages using Roman numerals but the bulk of the book is Arabic numbering, so remembering to change every time you begin a new section is just a little bit of a pain.
Thanks!!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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You could script the initial section creation with the Style set to Arabic. This sets the currently active page to a new section with Arabic—double-click a page in the Pages panel to set it to the active page:

 

app.activeDocument.sections.add({pageStart:app.activeWindow.activePage, pageNumberStyle:PageNumberStyle.ARABIC})

 

 

 

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Thanks, Rob. That may work but I'll leave it to others to try--writing script for a program like InDesign is not something I am trained in, nor wish to mess with.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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FWIW, Rob has provided the script—you don't have to write it, you just need to install it. See https://developer.adobe.com/indesign/1688653963277/guides/getting-started/#:~:text=Installing%20an%2....

 

InDesign books list the document page numbers in the right column, allowing us to see easily if they are correct or not. If not, you can select one or more files and update them through the book panel: changing the numbering properties to Roman if you forgot is a document-numbering command and incrementing the Arabic page numbers is a book level command. As long as you keep the book window open and an eye on it, you will not make a mistake with the numbering.

2024-04-03_10-15-41.png

 

Alternatively, consider creating templates: one for the front matter set to roman, and one for the body of the document set to arabic. (But still keep an eye on the book window.)

 

~Barb

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Please forgive my ignorance.
I actually have two scripts that came packaged, and they are in the scripts folder and available in the InDesign scripts panel. When I take the script that Rob provided, put it into a Word doc, save it with the idjs suffix (which changes the icon to InDesign), and put it into the scripts folder, it does not show up. So obviously there is more to it. The other scripts that are in the "scripts panel" subfolder of the scripts folder (and which do show up in InDesign), and these have a "js" suffix.So I have saved Rob's script with the js suffix and it does show up but won't run--it has an error message. Obviously there is something I should have done to change the script, but I really don't know what.

The instruction page, which is written for Version 18.0, not the latest 19.0, does not match what I am finding in the Roaming > Adobe > InDesign folder.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Hi Fred: no need to ask for forgiveness—this is a safe place to ask any/all questions and not to worry about what you do or don't know. For example... I may know InDesign well, but I know very little about scripting, so perhaps it is best to wait for Rob to come back and explain this to both of us, because he knows it very well. My apologies if I sent a link that wasn't helpful. 

 

~Barb

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Barb--I painted with too broad a brush--to be clear--the link was helpful--it directed me to the right place, certainly, but Adobe should have updated it when they changed the environment between v 18.0 and v 19.0.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Hi @fredl65064644 , You need to use a plain text editor—something like Notepad. Here it is as a .jsx file, just copy the file into your scripts folder:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/5e02br09d2yf74y770bd6/h?rlkey=0lje9sdqqslhazfdxpdxbjj5m&dl=0

 

 

 

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Thanks for this, Rob. The script is now in the script panel, and I created a new InDesign doc with page numbering beginning with Roman numerals. Am I right in thinking that creating Book rather than Document is how the script comes into play? I've actually never worked with Book--we only create single documents of anywhere from 48 to 520 (or more pages)--it could be that the "Book" approach is more efficient but we've just never felt a need to go there--docs work just fine. Regardless, is the script you supplied intended only to work with the book environment?--it doesn't seem to have any effect on an individual document.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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No, the script only works with the active page of the current document. All it does is create a new section starting at the currently active page with the numbering set to Arabic. It’s not that much of a time saver—just skips the need to open the Numbering & Sections Options... dialog

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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It seems to default to whatever the very first section marker was set to.

If early on in building the document, you set the first section marker to roman numerals, then that is what it bounces back to at default. The answer is in whatever the very first one is set to, unless you are also stating the all new documents are coming up roman numerals?

Mike Witherell

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