Tips & Tricks

Adding Page Numbers in Acrobat 7

April 05, 2005


When you combine pages for a project, you end up with one document. Page numbers are shown on the status bar below the document in the Document pane and are numbered in logical order -- that is, the first page is page 1, the second is page 2, and so on. Depending on the size and purpose of the document, you often have to renumber pages, or even number pages in sequences.

In a sample 18-page document, I have several sections that I want to number separately; each section will start with text and a letter (such as Sample A-), followed by page numbers. Sounds complicated, doesn't it? Acrobat can handle it.

Here's what you do:

  1. In the Pages pane, select the pages for the first section (I am using pages 3-5 in my example.) Choose Options > Number Pages to open the Page Numbering dialog. The Selected option is already active because I selected the pages in the Pages pane (Figure 79a).

Page Numbering dialog

Figure 79a. Save time in the dialog by preselecting the pages in the Pages pane. The numbers are automatically defined in the Page Numbering dialog.

  1. Leave the Begin new section option selected in the Numbering section of the dialog. Then click the Style pull-down list to choose a page format. As shown in Figure 79a, our example uses numbers for the page renumbering.
  2. Enter a value in the Prefix field, as well as punctuation if desired. The numbering starts at "1" by default, as shown in the Start field. Click OK to close the dialog.

Acrobat modifies the page numbers; as Figure 79b shows, we now have pages Sample A-1 through Sample A-3. The remaining pages in the document are renumbered as well.

Pages Pane

Figure 79b. You can choose among several page-numbering formats.

In the status bar, the page numbers reflect both the page count as well as the numbering you added (Figure 79c).

Page number

Figure 79c. The status bar displays both the logical numbering as well as the custom numbers.

Numbering Nuggets

Keep these things in mind when numbering your masterwork:

  • Whenever possible, remove visible page numbers from source material before converting it to a PDF. Using Acrobat-based page numbering is easier when the pages contain no numbers to conflict with the numbers displayed on the status bar or in the Pages pane.
  • Consider the document's use. Many documents need simple page numbering. However, if you are assembling a technical manual, you will likely use prefixes identifying content based on chapters, systems, and so on.
  • If you are building a book structure, consider how the book will look when printed. Books use front matter like a table of contents and other introductory material that is numbered differently from chapter content.

Excerpted from "Adobe Acrobat 7 Tips & Tricks: The 150 Best" by Donna Baker. Copyright (C) 2005. Used with the permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Adobe Press.

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