How To Number Pages In Adobe Illustrator

One of the primary actions in both digital and print publication is the numbering of pages. This effortless task aids in maintaining organization and improving navigation within a document, especially for larger files. It may come as a surprise that numerous individuals encounter difficulty with this when using Adobe Illustrator. This is due to the fact that Illustrator does not have a specific page numbering feature like other Adobe programs, such as InDesign or Acrobat. Fortunately, there is a workaround, and this tutorial will lead you through the process.

Step 1: Create a Text Layer for your Page Number

The first step in this process is to create a new layer that will serve as a placeholder for your page number. Start by going to the “Layers” panel and clicking on the “Create New Layer” button. Name this new layer accordingly.

Step 2: Use the Text Tool to Create a Number

Now, select the Text Tool from the toolbar (or press T on your keyboard). Click on the location where you want your page number to be and then type the number.

Step 3: Convert the Text into an Artboard

The next step is to convert this text into an artboard. This can be done by going to the “Object” menu, selecting “Artboards,” and then “Convert to Artboards.”

Step 4: Duplicate the Artboard

After creating your first numbered artboard, you can duplicate it for as many pages as you need. Simply select the Artboard Tool (or press Shift + O) and then click on the “Duplicate Artboard” button in the control panel.

Step 5: Change the Number on Each Artboard

Now, you’ll have to manually change the number on each artboard. Yes, it can be time-consuming if you have many pages, but currently, this is the best workaround in Illustrator. To edit the number, use the Direct Selection Tool (or press A), click on the number, and change it accordingly.

Automating the Process with Scripts

If you have a large document with many pages, manually changing the number for each page can be quite cumbersome. Luckily, you can automate this process by using a script. Here is a simple JavaScript example:

function changePageNumber() {
  for (var i = 0; i < app.activeDocument.artboards.length; i++) {
    var textFrame = app.activeDocument.textFrames[i];
    textFrame.contents = i + 1;

This script will loop through all artboards in your document, select each one, find the text frame on it, and replace its contents with the current index + 1.


Page numbering in Adobe Illustrator might not be as simple as it is in other Adobe programs, but it’s definitely feasible. With the steps outlined in this tutorial, or by using a script for larger documents, you can have your Illustrator documents numbered in no time. Happy designing!