What I want to achieve is a journal style header showing the start and end page numbers of an article:

Journal name Vol X, Issue Y (2016): m-n                                 (#)

where m is the start page# of this article, and n is the end page# of this article.

If I separate articles into Sections, then I can get the number n from text variables Last Page Number with the scope set to "Section". But how can I get the first-page number of a section?

Is there another way to achieve this than text variables?

1 Answer 1


I have a little hacky solution:

  1. Create an paragraph style and name it something like "First page".
  2. Create a new text variable based on "Running Header" and choose the new paragraph style as "Style".
  3. Insert this new text variable as your "first page number".
  4. Create a text frame. Insert a "Current Page Number" character and apply the "First page" style. It now contains the current page number.
  5. Paste this text frame onto the first page of every section. The text frame must overlap the page but sized so the number stays outside the page. It can be on a locked layer but sadly enough not on a master page. (The text could be part of the main text flow instead. Maybe the first paragraph after the header? Then it could be inserted using "Find/Change".)

This should do the trick but maybe there is too much manual work?

  • Thanks, @MadsWolff, for this nice solution! It works great. Inspired by your answer, I would suggest in step 4, instead of inserting a number, one can insert a "Current Page Number" by going to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers. With this, we just need to copy the text frame to all the first pages.
    – John Doe
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 5:34
  • For step 1, maybe it's just a personal preference, I would use a solid color and place the frame outside of the visible area, but enlarge it a bit so that a part of the frame touches the page.
    – John Doe
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 5:36
  • @John Doe. Cool, glad it worked. I did mention the "Current Page Number" character in step 4 btw. You are right to make the numbers solid to avoid errors.
    – Wolff
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 23:45
  • I see... I obviously missed that. Thanks again for the nice solution.
    – John Doe
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 12:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.