I have my document designed and page numbers set and all that jazz good to go. My first page is the cover page, and as such I don't want it numbered. I have the table of contents set as my first page and numbering starts from there.

But when I export my document to PDF, it counts the cover page as page 1, and so it throws people off when they go to punch in the page number and comes up a page short.

I had this figured out before, where the cover page was A1, and then it started to count page 1 to # (not including the cover page in its final count) in PDF. Anyone know how to fix this?


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2 Answers 2


In the pages panel, select the cover page thumbnail. Right-click it and select "Numbering & Section Options"
In the Numbering & Section Options dialog, change the Page Numbering style to something like A, B, C or i, ii, iii and click OK. This will number the entire document in this style, and that's OK.
Next, select the thumbnail for the page you want to be Page 1, right-click it and again select Numbering & Section Options.
This time, select 1, 2, 3, 4... as your style. This will paginate the document from that point forward.

If you used Page Number Markers for your pages numbering, it will automatically update.

Acrobat will honor this numbering.


Acrobat (and Indesign) have specific features to overcome this.

PDF actual page numbering uses the literal pages for numbering. You can't tell Acrobat to "ignore the first page" because, well, that page exists so a PDF reader needs to acknowledge it is there. However, if you section your Indesign file and use a prefix for the front matter numbering, you can often kind of work around this. If the front matter is all numbered something like I, II, III, etc and a user types in "4" they are generally taken to page 4 rather than page IV.

A better form of construction is to use Bookmarks for the PDF so that users, viewing the Table of Contents, can simply click the topic and be taken to that page in the PDF. You shouldn't rely on users inputting a number to find a page. Make things easier for them and set up the proper bookmark links.

The InDesign help file detail bookmark creation:

As do the Acrobat help files as well:

You can configure Bookmarks in either InDesign or Acrobat.

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