Adobe InDesign CC: Story Jumps

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

an image of a figure jumping

These are a way of keeping track, automatically, of where a ‘story’ (a single chunk of text that might be divided over several connected frames) comes from and goes to. It’s typically used in magazine production, where a story might take up a full page near the beginning and at the end say ‘continued on page 32’. And when you go to page 32, at the top it says ‘continued from page 3’. That’s a story jump. No matter how the magazine is edited, it keeps track of which pages the story is on.

Here’s how you do it.

a screenshot showing how the text on page two of a document is linked to the text on page eight

Let’s say you have a document in which half a story is on page 2 and the rest of it is on page 8. Go to page 2 and make a small text frame with the Type tool. Press ‘enter’ so that the cursor moves to the second line down. This is important because Story Jumps rely on there being an overlap between the two text frames, the story and the one you just created, in order to display the page number on which the story continues.

Type ‘Continued on page ‘ and leave the cursor flashing in the blank space at the end of the line. Then go to ‘type > insert special character > markers > next page number’. If there’s no overlap between the two frames, it will just say ‘2’, i.e. the current page number. But as soon as the frames overlap, it changes to an ‘8’.

a story jump added to page two, directing the reader to page eight

Copy the little frame and go to page 8, then paste it. Edit the text to read ‘Continued from page ‘ and again leave the cursor flashing in the blank space at the end. Choose ‘type > insert special character > markers > previous page number’. When this frame overlaps with the story, a ‘2’ will appear in the blank space.

and another story jump, this time on page eight, telling the reader that the story began on page two

And that’s a story jump.

If you then edited the number of pages in the document so that the first part of the story was on page 2, but the continuation was now on page 293 (or whatever) the numbers in the text frame on page 2 would update to keep track of things.

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