20 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2017 12:41 PM by Obi-wan Kenobi

    How to achieve numbered list of the type “Fig. 1, Fig 2., Fig. 3a, Fig. 3b”, etc.

    Janus Bahs Jacquet Level 1

      (InDesign CC 2017, macOS 10.12)

       

      I am typesetting a natural science book with far too many figures, tables, and plates (yes, all three types interspersed).

       

      A lot of these are sometimes numbered with a simple number (one figure/table/plate per number), and other times with alphabetical sub-numbers (several figures/tables/plates per number); thus, for example:

       

      Figure 1

      Figure 2

      Figure 3a

      Figure 3b

      Figure 4

      Figure 5a

      Figure 5b

      — etc.

       

      There are also what feels like a hundred references to each of these figures, tables, and plates strewn throughout the entire document—all requiring not only the figure/table/plate number, but also the number of the page where it appears.

       

      For this reason, I've initially set up paragraph styles for all three types of, erm, embedded content, each set up as its own numbered list with the appropriate prefix. I then use cross references to create the page-numbered references throughout the document, of the structure “[prefix] [number] on p. [page-number]”. This works like a charm.

       

      The trouble is that I can’t figure out how to create the sub-numbered lists. Having a separate paragraph style for the abc-style sub-numbers is no problem, but they, being of a hierarchically lower level (i.e., list level 2 instead of list level 1), of course do not affect the counter of the higher-level paragraphs. So I end up with this instead, using the same sequence as above:

       

      Figure 1

      Figure 2

      Figure 2a

      Figure 2b

      Figure 3

      Figure 3a

      Figure 3b

      — etc.

       

      Is there some way of telling InDesign that on specific numbered paragraphs, I want a specific list level (a different one to the current paragraph, mind) to increase by one?

       

      So far I’ve faked it by adding a text frame off the content board on the preceding page and just typing in a single space in the appropriate paragraph style, but this feels hacky and insecure for two reasons:

       

      1. It is a hack, creating a paragraph that’s never used, especially in a figure list. If I want to generate a list of figures/tables/plates, I’ll then have to convert that to plain text and get rid of the empty paragraphs.
      2. If I move things around (and with all this embedded stuff everywhere, things are moving around quite a lot), I’ll have to remember to move the empty-paragraph text frame from one preceding page to another preceding page, otherwise the caption numbering will change.

       

      Isn’t there some simpler, less hacky way of doing this?