I have about 80 InDesign documents (each one is about 10 pages) inside a book. The book is divided into sections.

Now I need to add a running header with the name of the section each document is in.

Here’s an example:

Doc 1 – Intro
Doc 2 – Section 1 title spread
Doc 3 to 7 – Chapters that need Section 1’s title in their running header
Doc 8 – Section 2 title spread
Doc 9 to 14 – Chapters that need Section 2’s title in their running header
… etc.

Can anyone tell how to do this?

1 Answer 1


Good question!

Unfortunately, styled-based variables won't work across different documents. Nor will work trying to get Section Marker, that are also document based...

So, AFAIK, you must find a workaround in order to achieve this missing feature. Here's two:

1- Create a custom text variable. Enter manually the name of the section. Insert this variable in the docs Master pages where you want the name of section to continue. Apart for time consuming process of manually entering section names, an other obvious problem is that you will have to create a variable for each section. Note that you must make sure that "variables" are checked in the book Sync Options.

2- The one I would go for (it's a dirty cheat but...)
Based on the example you provided: in your Doc 2 Master page, go Text > Insert special character > Marks > Section Marker (assuming you have defined them for each section).
Save doc2.
Doc 3 to 7: place Doc 2 as a graphic in your Master pages. So, if you change the section marker in doc 2 and save, all you have to do is update links. See example below:

enter image description here

  • I can also make 10 Master pages and assign them to the documents I want to include the section title. Unfortunately that trick won´t solve the TOC issue.
    – Nooba
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:34
  • What TOC issue? Toc are paragraph styles based, as you probably know. So you can insert a section mark apply a para style to it and generate toc... please be more specific about the problem you encounter.
    – Vinny
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:46
  • The TOC issue. I would like teve TOC to List the "Chapter 1"> Article 1.1; Article 1.2;> (...) | "Chapter 2"> Article 2.1; Article2.2;> (...) | and so on...
    – Nooba
    Jun 9, 2017 at 15:02
  • Sorry...I wish I could help but I have no idea of what you're talking about... How is this related to the original question ?
    – Vinny
    Jun 12, 2017 at 10:36
  • I´m sorry you can´t understand the relation between both things. The purpose of having running headers with the chapter name is deeply connected with the need of having chapters. Don´t you think it is related with having this chapters in the TOC too?
    – Nooba
    Jun 13, 2017 at 11:32

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