2022 Layout update - Auto-Text Page Numbering across multiple Layout Files

Just finished watching @Matt 's version 2022 update video and have a question.

He spoke about being able to use auto-text to create a document table of contents with page #'s and page names as well as full page counts.

However, he also said that this feature can be used to track multiple layout files that are bundled together. I’m wondering how this works. I do high-end millwork and cabinets for commercial and residential and have a template that has three different sized rooms as starters. I have always wanted to have three layout files for each size and then have a layout file for details.

The limitation had always been that creating a table of contents and keeping the page numbers synced during the course of the document build was always manual and time consuming. Has that limitation been eliminated with this auto-text update?

Is it this video…?

I can’t find where he mentions being able to track multiple Layout files with autotext.

That’s the one. Look at the 8:00 minute mark and pay attention to 8:20 and beyond.

Indeed he does!

Without more clarification I actually don’t think this is possible right now and it may be something that the developers are considering as a future release…?

It would fantastic if this can be done right now.

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I don’t think so. It sounds like he’s just saying that you can manually change the number that “PageCount” starts counting from, just like with “PageNumber”.

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I think you are right on this…unfortunately.

Seems like I got things a bit crossed. What has not changed is that each Layout file can be specifically numbered if it is bundled with other files to create a full set of documents.

What Layout has added is this table of contents feature that allows a page number column and a page title column and the page title cell is populated with a new auto-text feature that references the page name that is in the indicated page #. The limitation being that it can only reference pages in the file it is in.

This is a great feature for sure! But, I can only hope that this is the first part and that the full workflow would be that there are auto-text links to other Layout files and their page #'s, page names and page counts.

I’ve previously used A3 and I have had multiple Layout files for some time as per the Sonder method to mange the number of sheets.

In another thread Sonder recently advised to continue doing this but having recently moved to A1 thereby significantly reducing the number of sheets in a set, I’m considering one Layout file to take advantage of the new page index ability to create document issue sheets which I currently do in a spreadsheet.

Can’t see this happening any time soon.

What I meant at 8:00 in the video above is you can manually adjust the starting number <PageCount> Auto-Text. It’s not automatic, and you still have to manually track/adjust pages across documents. So it’s not as exciting as I made it sound, unfortunately.

Example: Imagine you have two files. Pages 1-10 are in the first file, and pages 11-20 are in the second file.

Using the <PageCount>, and <PageNumber> Auto-Text, you can change the “Start at” numbers in the second file to 11, to adjust for the number of pages in the first file. Now if you add or remove pages from the first file, you’d have to manually update the second file again with the new start numbers.

A similar thing can be done for tables of contents using a sequence Auto-Text tag. You can adjust the start number in order to display a range of page numbers starting at whatever page you want.

So, to be clear, this isn’t something where you can link multiple documents together for automated page number management. That would be cool!

I work exclusively in Tabloid 11x17. Have always had one Sketchup file and one Layout file (copied a lot of Sonder’s work, but the multiple Layout files didn’t make sense for my work flow, mostly because of the page numbering issue and how I modeled rooms at the time).

If this feature was present it would dovetail nicely into my new workflow and template system.

@Matt, thanks for chiming in and explaining that part.

What would be super fun is if you could create a table of contents in each file and then reference the table from each file in the master table of contents and, in effect, stack them on top of one another in order. Anytime you updated the file with the master table in it, it would look for changes just like with Sketchup files and bob’s your uncle.

That doesn’t seem to far fetched a thing…HA!..I’m talking like I actually know how to write code and stuff.