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I started working on a book in InDesign CC 2014 (10.0.0). The designer's original file makes no use of Master pages at all. He somehow placed page numbers in the footer manually.

After a few days I noticed that some of the page numbers have change, e.g. instead of page 144, it says page 14144. Somehow I prefixed a bunch of pages with "14" and I can't figure out how.

The same thing happened on another document, but it prefixed some page numbers with "2." Another document did it with prefix "12."

I looked in Numbering & Sections Options and found no prefix. I looked at Bulleted and Numbered lists, and there no lists. The checked that the text frame containing the number is actually using the "Page number" special character, so the pages aren't manually inserted.

I can't for the life of me find what caused this and how I batch edit it back.

The only thing I've done different from the original designer is to use the New Book feature in InDesign, but I don't see how that's relevant.

Please help, I'm lost.

Thank you.

Edit: I was finally able to reproduce the error, it was driving me nuts!

I restored the old file from backup. It was saved in InDesign CS6 format, so InDesign CC 2014 obviously had to re-save it.

The problem appears if I create a new book in CC 2014 and drag the file in question into it, the page numbers become corrupt. What I didn't know is that simply using the "New Book" feature and dropping a .indd file into it corrupts the file and changes the page numbers.

Now I suspect that the numbers (such as "14144" mentioned) are actually two separate special characters. I know the "144" is the page number special character, but I'm not sure why the Book feature is prefixing with "14." It seems random, but I have a feeling it isn't.

Anybody else faced similar issues ever?

  • 1
    First thing to find out is how those numbers are entered. He "somehow placed page numbers", there is a hotkey for it -- it's just an automatic number. If it's a single code, then it's the page number (optionally, with a prefix). But perhaps it's more than a single code? Maybe he literally typed a number in front? – usr2564301 Nov 10 '14 at 22:09
  • If you get inside the text box and highlight a page number, are you able to highlight individual characters (like just a single 4)? Or when you highlight does it highlight the whole number 14144 as a single block? – apex Nov 10 '14 at 23:24
  • The page numbers are placed using the proper special character, i.e. double clicking the the "14144" highlights either the starting "14" or the ending "144" as a whole number. I changed the style of page numbering to make sure that "144" is correct, and it changed it everywhere correctly, but the "14" prefix remained. – Lost Designer Nov 11 '14 at 5:18
  • What I meant by "somehow placed page numbers" is I'm not sure how he repeated the text frame across all the pages (he's not using master pages). I expected that if I edit one text frame and remove the "14" prefix then all of them will be corrected, but that's not the case. – Lost Designer Nov 11 '14 at 5:20
  • Can you send the document for us to check it? – Mamoon Nov 11 '14 at 9:18

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