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Suppress/don't output list number, but increment all the same

Participant ,
May 11, 2021 May 11, 2021

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This is something I need to do with almost every book project I work on, and it annoys me that I can never figure out an elegant way to do it.

 

Is there a way to set up a paragraph style in such a way that it is part of a numbered list (level 1) and its counter is incremented by one for every instance of the style (“Continue from previous”), but without actually showing the number on the page?

 

For example, a book is divided into chapters, each of which has a title page. On that title page, the number is written out in letters (“Part One”, etc.), so obviously you don’t want to also have the number itself on the page – just “Part One: Title”. Within chapter one, however, headings are numbered with the chapter number, so that the first heading is 1.1, the next is 1.2, etc.

 

If I make the chapter title style level 2 of the list and just leave the “Number” field empty, no number is output on the page, but the counter isn’t incremented either – it just remains zero (or whatever it was before the paragraph in question).

 

The only way I’ve found that works is to manually override each chapter title and put it in “Start at” mode, manually adding in the chapter number. Which completely defeats the purpose of an auto-numbered list.

 

Is there really no better way?

 

(And why the heck did Adobe decide that an auto-incremented number shouldn’t auto-increment just because it’s not shown? And why on earth are topics mandatory when posting here, but also limited to a random handful picked out by the system based on heaven-knows-what, but usually completely unrelated to the question you’re asking? This has nothing to do with Performance, but even less to do with all the other suggested topics…)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2021 May 11, 2021

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Hi @Janus Bahs Jacquet:

 

This has nothing to do with Performance, but even less to do with all the other suggested topics

I would tag this post as How to and not Performance, since you are asking us how to do something. I'll fix it for you. 

 

I would add go ahead and add the auto-number to the chapter numbers (^H for book chapter or ^1 if all of the chapters are in a single InDesign file). The result will look like this, where InDesign adds the arabic numerals and you add the words:

1One

2Two
3Three

 

Once all the heads (1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.1.1, etc) are numbering correctly just create a character style to make the number on the chapter numbers a fill of none, and make it very, very small so that it doesn't add any space. (I made my numbers 0.1 pt, the smallest possible size.) Now they are doing the work of managing the list updates, but no one can see them. It will be our secret.

 

~Barb 

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Participant ,
May 12, 2021 May 12, 2021

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I would tag this post as How to and not Performance, since you are asking us how to do something. I'll fix it for you. 

 

I would add go ahead and add the auto-number to the chapter numbers (^H for book chapter or ^1 if all of the chapters are in a single InDesign file). The result will look like this, where InDesign adds the arabic numerals and you add the words:

1One

2Two
3Three

 

Once all the heads (1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.1.1, etc) are numbering correctly just create a character style to make the number on the chapter numbers a fill of none, and make it very, very small so that it doesn't add any space. (I made my numbers 0.1 pt, the smallest possible size.) Now they are doing the work of managing the list updates, but no one can see them. It will be our secret.

 

 

Yes, I suppose that’s an option… though it really makes me fell icky and hacky. It will also likely cause problems if your text will eventually be made into an e-book or something like that, where the character style will probably be lost (or at least significantly altered) and screen readers will eventually enter the picture.

 

Luckily, the current project only has four chapters, so using “Start at” isn’t a big problem – I only have to manually update the start-at number three times; it was more the principle of it. I guess the answer really is that there is no better way (meaning: one that’s both more elegant/automated and not semantically hacky).

 

(I would have tagged the question How to if I’d been able to, but that wasn’t one of the options that came up. Scripting was, and SDK and a lot of other completely irrelevant tags. And for some unfathomable reason, we [at least I] can’t simply type a tag name to find a suitable tag, StackExchange-style, but must choose from the ill-suited list presented.)

 

(Also, sorry about the belated response – for some reason I didn’t receive any notifications on this post, so I figured no one had answered. Only noticed both yours and Uwe’s answers when I happened to refresh the page here.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2021 May 12, 2021

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And to add to Barb's reply:
You can make that invisible number even smaller if you set its character width to 1%.

 

One other thought: Could we use conditional text for this?

No. Unfortunately not, because we cannot create a character style that sets a condition.

 

Yet another thought:

The character style that is responsible for the invisible numbers could use a special font where all glyphs have zero width.

That font could be created with InDesign by using the IndyFont script from Jongware and Marc Autret.

https://www.indiscripts.com/category/projects/IndyFont

 

FWIW: I share your judgement about the forum's "Related conversation" and the Search feature.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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