The following free script will set all files that are part of an InDesign book (.indb) to use automatic page numbering.

Specifically, it will change the options of the first section of each file in the book (except the first file) to use the “Automatic Page Numbering” option instead of the “Start Page Numbering at…” option, as in the following screenshot.

This script is particularly useful in conjunction with the Extract Pages script. (But it can be used with any .indb file, not only those created by Extract Pages.)

Extract Pages is a script that lets you divide an InDesign file into several smaller files. It also has an option to combine those extracted files into a single InDesign book file.

To ensure that the page numbering of each of the extracted files is identical to the original file, it sets the Numbering & Section Options of the first section of each extracted file to a fixed page number (the second option in the screenshot above).

However, sometimes this is not the desired behaviour. If the individual extracted files are later edited or modified, or more files are addeded, or some deleted from the book file, the page numbering throughout the book will no longer be correct.

I received a request from Laurent Tournier, an InDesign expert from France, to make it possible to change this option for all files in a book document. This is an option that is planned for a future release of Extract Pages. Meanwhile, however, the following free script can be run as a single additional step.

How to Use the Free Script

  1. Open an InDesign book (.indb).
  2. Run the script.
    The script will do the following:

    1. Silently open all the docs in the book except the first.
    2. Change the setting of the first section of each document to “automatic page numbering”, and
    3. silently save all the docs and close them.

WARNING! If you have made any unsaved changes to any of the docs in the book, the files will be saved and closed, so be careful that you don’t end up saving changes you didn’t mean to make!


To download Set Book to Automatic Numbering, fill in your name and address and it will be automatically emailed. By doing so you also agree to receive occasional emails from with interesting InDesign tips and tricks, news, and free scripts.