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I am currently working on a larger document that has a number in the top left of every page to give you an idea what part of the document you are currently in. Not as in the page number, but rather regarding the content structure.

This screenshot may give you a better example:

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The number shall only increase on pages with a new heading, however. Not every page. This for example is page 2 of the document, which however still belongs to my first heading (would you call these chapters? Sections? Idk ... I am lost for a better term here):

enter image description here


Now the problem I have is, that I don't know how to update it accordingly:

enter image description here

As I may have hinted above already, I thought one might be able to do that using chapter / section numbering? But I am having a hard time figuring out whether this is even the right way of going about that or if there is another / better method. Especially one that is easy to update if I were to add more content later-on.

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In InDesign for chapters to work as you think it should (and frankly I think the same way) each chapter should be a different document in a book file.

What you can do in single document is: when slicing it for chapters, name "Selection marker" with a proper number. Then use type > insert special Character > markers > section markers.
And yes, this will require manual change of selection markers.

Also, you can set in "Number & section options" number of section by hand (so 1, 2, 3 and so on) and then type > text variable > insert > chapter number. Con of this is that section is tied differently when deleting and adding pages. So when page is deleted section stay the same (say you start on page 19, delete this page and section stay on page 19) but when adding pages the section moves (so when adding two pages before page 19 section move to page 21).

And also you can play with running header.

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