How to Add Page Numbers in InDesign

By Timothy Brauning on June 15, 2022

Adding page numbers is one of those things that you might not think to do until you need it. But once you start using InDesign, you'll find all sorts of uses for this feature. Whether you're creating an ebook or brochure, learning how to add page numbers in InDesign can go a long way.

Adding page numbers can be a great way to where you are or what's next in your project.

Here are some reasons why page numbers are so useful:

  • They help readers keep track of where they are in a document. This is especially true for documents with long chapters or sections with multiple parts (like an ebook).
  • They make it easier for the reader to reference specific information in the document by page number. You can use page numbers in citations, bibliographies, and footnotes (if you're citing sources).
  • They help organize printed pages into logical groups and make them easier to find if someone wants to reference them later on.

InDesign allows you to add page numbers to documents such as books, magazines, and brochures. 

You can insert these numbers when you're creating the document or after it is complete by using a simple method. This article will show you how!

page numbers in indesign

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InDesign insert page number: Step by step guide

Step 1

Open Adobe InDesign and create a new file by selecting File →New→ Document.

indesign page numbers

Insert the number of pages you want your document to have and click Create.

indesign change page number

Step 2

In the upper right corner of your screen, click on the Pages tab. 

change page numbers in indesign

Now you should see all the pages that make up your document in Adobe InDesign.

 add page number to indesign

Step 3

Double-click on the first master page, which will include a page number. The first page in your document may be the cover, which does not have a page number. 

how to number pages indesign

Now, a two-page interface will appear.

 how to number pages indesign

Step 4

To number your pages, you can use the Zoom function to enlarge the lower-left corner of the first page you want to start from.

You can also enlarge the lower-right corner if you use a right page as your first numbered page. 

Most people start numbering their pages from the lower left-hand corner.

Once you are in "Zoom" mode, click on your "Type" tool. It is the "T" on your left panel.

adding page numbers to indesign

Then click on a location for your page number (in this case – the lower left-hand corner). 

This is where your numbers will appear, but make sure that the box is very wide and can fit even larger numbers so you can see them. 

Step 5

After creating your box, click inside it and go to the "Type" menu on your top horizontal panel. 

insert page number indesign

Then scroll down to "Insert Special Character." 

Type → Insert Special Character → Markers → Current Page Number

When you click on it, your first number will appear as an "A" with a number sign next to it.

page numbering in indesign

Don't worry! This happens because it is the master page, and as I have mentioned, they don't get assigned a number at the start.

Step 6

Use your "Selection" tool to drag the box into the position you like. That's where the number will appear. 

how to start page number on page 3

If it is already placed properly, you are OK to go on to the next step.

There you go! You practically have learned how to add page numbers in InDesign :-)

So, what’s left to do is…

Step 7

..Number duplication. To duplicate the page number box, click on it and press CTRL + C to copy it. Then go to the right side of the page where you want to place the duplicate, and press CTRL + V to paste it. 

indesign auto page numbering

To move it around, simply click on it and drag it where you want it to be.

This will save you a lot of time, so you don't have to do the process for every page from the beginning.

Step 8

You can check to see if your numbers have appeared on all your pages by going to the "Pages" panel. 

Zoom in on the left and right sides of the panel to see if the numbers appear in order.

 auto page numbering in indesign

Final words

After reading this, you have learned how to add page numbers in InDesign. 

This feature is very useful for certain types of documents, including books and pamphlets. 

You can have the page numbers on both the left and the right sides of your page; however, you will find that you can only have one or the other—the feature is not that flexible.

If you have any questions about the process or how to add page numbers in any other way, make sure to leave a comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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