InDesign: feature broken—working as designed



  • Just now, I was trying to add the previous page’s number to a page in InDesign (why? I have a two-page spread that’s really a single page, and want it to say “Pages 24–25” on the right-hand page, but no number one the left-hand one). Okay, so I just click Type → Insert Special Character → Markers → Previous Page Number. Hang on, it says “Pages 25–25” now … Did I click the wrong menu item? Let’s try that again … Nope, same result.

    Let’s see what the all-knowing Internet has to say on the matter … Aha, it’s one big :wtf: but claimed to be working as designed by Adobe apologists

    The short form: the text frame containing the marker must overlap a text frame on the previous page that is threaded to a frame on the current page, because it uses the threaded frames to determine which number it should display. Or so I gather.

    Why not just take the current page number and subtract 1? As someone puts it on the page I linked to:

    I just wonder why using this feature was made so complicated. Couldn't they make it as simple as auto page number?

    To which the reply is:

    It is as simple. How else would you have it work? Putting it into the main story doesn't hack it because you might edit the text and move the marker.

    Yes, and … ? In that case it still displays the previous page’s number, doesn’t it? As I at least would expect it to, but it seems I don’t quite get Adobe’s intended use for this functionality. Beats me what that is, though.



  • I don't know why it needs this threaded text frame thing, but I do know that it's quite usual to have a page numbering like 'I II III ... IX X 1 2 3 4 ...' so that just subtracting 1 doesn't work.



  • Just put {pagenumber-1} - {pagenumber} on each page. That exact text.

    Then when your thing is done, run a macro that replaces those with actual values.

    Then never, ever, ever change your text. Not even a single line.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Lorne-Kates said in InDesign: feature broken—working as designed:

    Just put {pagenumber-1} - {pagenumber} on each page. That exact text.
    Then when your thing is done, run a macro that replaces those with actual values.
    Then never, ever, ever change your text. Not even a single line.

    Why stop there? Why bother using an expensive software like InDesign at all? Just copy&paste background (first) and text (second) into paint, works like a charm!



  • @asdf imminent wooden table.



  • Also. Fuck you NodeBB for putting post button on the top.



  • @Grunnen said in InDesign: feature broken—working as designed:

    I don't know why it needs this threaded text frame thing, but I do know that it's quite usual to have a page numbering like 'I II III ... IX X 1 2 3 4 ...' so that just subtracting 1 doesn't work.

    That’s true, and I admit I hadn’t thought of that when I made this thread, but it doesn’t invalidate my basic point: there must be far easier ways of implementing this than Adobe used. I mean, the program knows on which page the number is, so instead of subtracting 1, it could just see what number is on the previous page and display that (or some error when you try it on the first page of the document).

    @Lorne-Kates said in InDesign: feature broken—working as designed:

    Just put {pagenumber-1} - {pagenumber} on each page. That exact text.

    Good idea! And let all the career DTPers code their own macros to do this. What could go wrong?


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