Page numbering

When refering to a particular page, or when giving filenames to individual page scans, a consistent system for numbering pages are needed. This document outlines the system I use for my own scans and normally also converts contributed scans into.

The main principle is that normal pages with a page number are denoted with the lowecase letter p plus the page number written with three digits. A page numbered 42 would then be referred to as p042 and a scan of this saved in the PNG format would become p042.png.

Often, a book starts with a few unnumbered pages. If the first numbered page is not page 1, the preceding pages are given the page numbers they would have had if they were numbered continually with the ones with printed page numbers. Unnumbered pages at the end is dealt with in the same manner.

For small booklets this might cover everything; but books with a thicker cover, p001 will normally be the first interior page, so the front cover would become "page minus 1" if one continued to extrapolate backwards. In this case the front cover becomes f001 and the inside of this f002. Similarly, the interior back cover becomes r001 (even if it has a page number continuing from the main part), and the outer back cover becomes r002.

The reason why the numbering of the back cover inside and outside is the opposite from the front cover and the letter r for rear is used instead of b for back is that in this way an alphabetical list of the files will be in the order in which the pages appear. This principle should always be followed when exceptions to these rules must be made. The remainder of this text is mostly a list of such exceptions that I have had to handle this far.

If there are pages between f002 and p001, these are numbered sequentially from i001. The letter i is chosen both as an abbreviation of introductory pages and a mnemonic recalling that such pages often are numbered with lower-case Roman numerals.

If there are any loose appendices to a book, these pages are numbered sequentially from x001. Remember that blank backsides of all pages, even of such additional material always must be counted.

Any internal material that does not form part of the numbering flow, such as fold-in pages must be handled carefully to avoid breaking the alphabetisation principle. I do this by appending .x and a two digit sequential number to the identifier of the preceding page. A manual with a fold-in front cover would then end up with the following parts:

f001The outer front cover
f001.x01The part of the flap that continues the outer front cover when folded out
f001.x02The overleaf part of the flap
f002The interior front cover that would remain if the flap was removed

Some of these manuals have pages numbered with chapter plus page in chapter; for example 4-15- for the fifteenth page of chapter four. I number these as p04-15, and change the other sections accordingly (f01-01 and f01-02 for the front cover etc.).

When summarising how many pages a manual contains, I write it as p+c+i+x, where p is the number of normal pages (of the form pnnn or pnn-nn), c the number of cover pages (of the form fnnn, fnnn.xnn, f01-nn, rnnn or rnnn.xnn), i introductory pages (of the form innn or i01-nn) and x extra pages (of the form xnnn or pnnn.xnn). If a manual consists of an outer cover with fold-ins at both ends, 4 introductory pages, 100 normal pages and three single-sided additional sheets, I would write this as 100+8+4+6. A PDF file of this manual should contain 118 pages, including a blank one after each of the three single additions.

Tor Gjerde <>