FrameMaker Tips | Book Files, Part 2 – Numbering

Posted on: July 20, 2020 / FrameMaker Tips /

FrameMaker Tips

Book Files, Part 2 – Numbering

Part 2 of a series looking at the book file and how you can use it to make your work life easier. This issue takes a look at the relationship between the book file and numbering properties.

Category: Using FrameMaker

Relevance: All Manuals


Each file in a book can have its own numbering system. In our AMM, SMM, and IPC manuals each file has its own page numbering independent of any other file (e.g. 104, 401-404, etc.). In some of our other manuals, the front matter files are numbered individually, but the narrative and part lists are numbered continuously (e.g. 1-4, 5-10, 11-16, etc.).

Here’s the tricky part, when it comes to numbering, the settings that are made in the book file are separate from the same settings made to an open file, even though the dialog box looks the same.

To set page numbering in an open file: To set page numbering in a file in a book:
Go to Format > Document > Numbering…
Go to the Page tab.
Set the page number, click OK.
Highlight the file in the book window.
Right click and choose Numbering…
Go to the Page tab.
Set the page number, click OK.


If you look closely, you’ll see that the Numbering Properties window accessed through the book file has the choice to “Read from File”. If you are having numbering problems, set the correct numbering in the open file, then set the book file to “Read from File”.

How numbering effects the Update Book tool

FrameMaker allows you to renumber the files in a book when you use the Update Book tool. By default Update Numbering is turned on.

Update Book Window

If the numbering properties in a file don’t match those in the book being updated, FrameMaker sees this as a conflict and will produce an error message.

Error Message

If you click continue, the files will be renumbered to what is indicated in the book file, which may not be what you want. This may be how some users have managed to renumber an entire manual.


To be safe, never click Continue when you get the Inconsistent Numbering Properties error. Go to the file indicated in the first line of the error and correct the numbering properties in either the file or the book.

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