I've set up a paragraph format section, which starts on the next odd page. Additionally, I would like the page number to be prefixed by the section number and starting again at 1, i.e. page numbers would be something like

1-1  # section 1
1-4  # might be an empty page automatically inserted
2-1  # section 2
3-1  # section 3

Unfortunately, when I set up the page number to start again at 1 (and set the prefix to the section number), the "start on next odd page" automatism basically breaks, since I "defined" the page to be odd, despite the physical page possibly being even, i.e. in the example above, the empty page 1-4 gets skipped and 2-1 directly follows after 1-3 unless I manually add an empty even page, which is tedious and I might actually forget to do so when appending to that section such that e.g. 1-5 is also added automatically.

How can this be fixed? Maybe there is an easer way to have (automatically?) prefixed page numbers while making sure sections start on physically odd pages?

  • I'm aware I could create an InDesign-Book with chapters, which could probably circumvent this, but the chapter/sections are quite short and having a separate file for each would really be overkill... Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


I could not find an "automatic" method, but I did find a method that could help.

Select the pages you want to define as one section.

Right-Click > Numbering and Section Options

In the "Section Marker" box (not "Section Prefix") type in "1 - " (I added spaces before and after the hyphen).

Repeat for each following section, changing the "Section Marker" to the appropriate number. Make sure to select "Start Page Numbering at:" and change that to "1".

You should end up with:

1 - 1 (Section Marker - Page Number)

1 - 2 (Section Marker - Page Number)

1 - 3 (Section Marker - Page Number)

1 - 4 (Section Marker - Page Number)


2 - 1 (Section Marker - Page Number)

2 - 2 (Section Marker - Page Number)

2 - 3 (Section Marker - Page Number)

2 - 4 (Section Marker - Page Number)


If you notice your page layouts changing oddly, try clicking the fly-out menu at the top of your pages panel and uncheck "Allow Document Pages to Shuffle"and rearrange them back to their proper layout

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