I have boxes with references which are located beneath pictures in my InDesign 6 document. I want to have a consistent and continueing auto-numbering of these boxes. Therefore I created two paragraph styles - one for the left page, one for the right page.

Here is what the paragraph style looks like for numbering for both styles (left and right): enter image description here

However, when I place text boxes in InDesign and attribute the paragraph style, the numbering is mixed up:

enter image description here

When done over 100 pages, I get an order that seems totally random to me.

How do I fix it and get an continuing numbering?

2 Answers 2


Numbering seems to be less intuitive then thought. There is a lengthy discussion on creating numbered captions here, but to cut a long story short:

  1. If you place multiple frames on one page and apply the same numbering style, InDesign will count not be placement but order of creation. That is the reason why I get this weird order on the picture above.
  2. If you place frames on various pages, you will not get this problem

The best solution seems to be to link all captions to the primary text frame by creating an anchor object.

  • 1
    That's correct. I wonder why InDesign doesn't consider "Layers" for ordering the numbers in the frames. It would be much easier. Nov 11, 2015 at 13:12

I had the same problem and found out the same thing, that it's the order of creation that seem to govern the lists numerical order. It felt intuitive that the order in the layer-panel should be where this could be managed, although perhaps there's some reason for why that isn't a good idea that I havn't thought of.

My solution for this when trying to add a number on a page between already existing numbers where to usa a current text frame of the previous number and create a new list object from there. And then I would overset that text and press the overset +-sign to place it on the page. Works perfect.

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