For some paragraphs I use several levels of numbering from "Lists and numbering" option. Is it possible to create a text variable that would get the last paragraph number on a page so that I could use it in a page header? I know how to insert cross reference that would point to paragraph number, but can't find how to access paragraph number in text variables.

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    Alas, no. It's the same with footnotes; they "live" in another existential plane as far as Adobe is concerned. Can you edit your question and add a small example of a use case?
    – Jongware
    Sep 18, 2016 at 3:44
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    @usr2564301 More or less any hierarchically structured book (a grammar book, a maths book, you name it) is the use case. You want to show in the page header which sections are on the page, just like dictionaries show in the header which lemmata are on the page. It’s beyond bizarre that this is not possible to do in InDesign. Jun 27, 2020 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


I've found a workaround for the problem. It's rather clumsy, but it's working.

For every numbered paragraph p which I want to be included in referencing with text variables I create an anchored nonprinting text box and insert cross-reference to p's number in it formating it with my predefined paragraph style. In header I use "Running Header (paragraph style)" text variable using that style to insert paragraph number. That's it.

It may seem that there is a better way -- format paragraph number with a certain character style, and use that style in "Running Header (Character Style)" text variable. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. So it seems there is no direct way of referencing paragraph numbers with text variables.

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