I am putting together a telephone directory, and I was trying to figure out a good way of getting section markers to work for me.

My setup has 3 towns: Burford, Paris and St George. Under each of those there are alphabetic listings, to which I would like to have a marker for each letter to denote the change of the letter in the listing. Ideally I would like the that has an object style. So it would have markers for A-Z under Burford, then A-Z under Paris.

When I change the numbering & section options, it just changes the page number. It seems from my reading that this should be possible, but I haven't found any examples of how to do this.

[Edit] I have added a photo of what I'm trying to achieve. As you can see I've got a page number, a variable to pull the town name along the page edge. I've added those manually, but the idea behind this question is to figure an automated way of creating markers like that.

enter image description here

  • I don't really understand what numbering format you are looking for. Is it Burford-A1, Burford-A2, etc or Burford-A, Burford-B, etc? or something else?
    – Scott
    Jan 13, 2013 at 23:11
  • So it would be Burford - A, B, C... then Paris A, B, C...
    – jbwharris
    Jan 13, 2013 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


Okay based on your updated question here is how we do it where I work. Someone else might have a better solution:

You're bringing this out from some sort of database presumable and going to be adjusting it in Excel and then importing it as a CSV file to InDesign. We sort stuff like this out in the Excel file so when we do the import it already has the category header (category, state, country, whatever that directory calls for) in place. If you set it up so it imports from Excel with the Paragraph styles already in place its then a simple matter of creating the triangle shape and dropping it behind the letters.


Based on the comment above, it's pretty easy....


Set the section prefix to the town, then choose the Upper Alpha for Style. And you should be set.

Note I checked "Include Prefix when numbering" as well.


For a section marker with the city/town, then pages A-B


here the section Marker is set to a city/town.

Then on a master page you would insert the section marker as well as the current page number:

page markers

The section marker will only appear on the first page (A) then will be followed by B, C, D, etc. without the town/city.

  • It was my understand though that he wasn't "lettering the pages" but wanting Company Name's starting with A for say 5 pages or whatever then names starting with B for say 4 pages. So it would be "Buford - A" - "Buford - B". Somehow detecting where the letter ends and starts within each metro (book section). I could be wrong though.
    – Ryan
    Jan 14, 2013 at 0:10
  • What I wanted was the section has the title "Burford". Then following that there would be 26 alphabetic markers, just "A", not "Burford - A". When I tried using that dialog it just changed the page numbers and not the markers I had created.
    – jbwharris
    Jan 14, 2013 at 1:16
  • I tried this method and it only changes the page number to letters which isn't what I'm trying to achieve. The markers need to be independent of the page count.
    – jbwharris
    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:57

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