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I'm typesetting a religious text in InDesign and am trying to get chapter and verse numbers in a running header using text variables. New chapters start in the middle of a page (i.e. they don't start on new spreads or pages; see the big "25" below)

enter image description here

I've assigned character styles to all numbers in the document (one style for verse numbers, one style for chapter numbers), and have created text variables linked to the first/last instances of each of those styles on the page.

The running header shows the chapter+verse of the first verse that shows up on the spread on the verso/left, and the chapter+verse of the last verse that shows up on the spread on the recto/right, like so:

| Ch.v for first verse on page        |       Ch.v for last verse on page |

This works great when no chapter starts on the verso—the running head uses the chapter number from the previous spread (or previous instance), like this:

|-------------|-------------|
|             |       22.13 |
|-------------|-------------|
|             |             |
|             | Ch. 22      |
|             |             |
|             |       v. 13 |
|-------------|-------------|

|-------------|-------------|
| 22.14       |        23.3 |
|-------------|-------------|
| v.14        |             |
|             | Ch. 23      |
|             |             |
|             |         v.3 |
|-------------|-------------|

"22.13" on the first spread is correct, and "22.14" and "22.3" are both correct on the second spread, since verse 14 is part of chapter 22.

However, if a chapter starts in the middle of the page on the verso/left, the running head will use that instead of the actual chapter number associated with the verse.

|-------------|-------------|
|             |       22.13 |
|-------------|-------------|
|             |             |
|             | Ch. 22      |
|             |             |
|             |       v. 13 |
|-------------|-------------|

|-------------|-------------|
| 23.14       |        23.3 |
|-------------|-------------|
| v.14        |             |
|             |             |
| Ch. 23      |             |
|             |         v.3 |
|-------------|-------------|

So instead of showing "22.14", it shows the incorrect "23.14", since it's picking up the 23 from the current page and not the 22 from the previous page.

The only solution I can think of is to add text to a non-printing layer that I can have the text variables point to, and which I can then edit by hand, but that then means that I have to essentially edit the running header by hand for each spread, which sounds awful.

enter image description here

Is there a way to have a text variable show the correct chapter number, somehow linked to the verse?

  • This is a similar question: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/9342/… – Andrew Jul 20 '18 at 21:43
  • Very interesting puzzle... As far as I know, there's no way to achieve this natively. I'm afraid you'll have to look for some external plugin. Maybe you can try in-tools.com/products/plugins/power-headers and see if it suits your requirements... Btw, do you type all numbers manually or do you use numbered list paragraph style? (for chapters at least. For verses, that would be another great puzzle ^^) – Vinny Jul 23 '18 at 7:49

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