PDF Page Numbering


Paizo General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm posting this here because this involves both PF2 and SF books.

Page numbering on Paizo's recent PDFs is inconsistent. The issue is that the page numbered "1" on the page* is not actually the first page of the PDF; there is always a front cover and an inside front cover, which do not have page numbers. If the maker of the PDF doesn't do anything, the front cover is numbered as page 1, which means that the PDF thinks that page 1 is page 3, and page 55 is page 57, etc. This is inconvenient for RPG books because they frequently reference content on other pages by page number, but if the reader types in the referenced page number into the PDF reader, they get a page a few pages before the correct one.

Fixing this page numbering issue is simple - the PDF creator can mark the cover as Cover Page, the inside front cover as Inside Front Cover, etc., and then begin page numbering on the actual page one. So when a reader asks the PDF reader for page 35, they get the page numbered 35!

Most older Pathfinder 2e and Starfinder books were numbered correctly (with a few random exceptions like Age of Ashes #4 and Agents of Edgewatch #2). But Paizo stopped in approximately September of last year. All of the recent products in all book lines number the cover as page 1.

I don't know if there was a change of policy, or if the one person who made sure this got done left the company, or what. But please, Paizo, go back to giving us useful PDF page numbers. When I ask my PDF reader for page 44, I should get page 44, not page 42 or 41. When I've made PDFs at my job, it's taken literally seconds to set up.

Thanks for reading.

* For Paizo books, this is typically a table of contents or title page with the page number counted but omitted from the page, so the first page with a printed number is typically page three.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This has more to do with the PDF readers than the PDFs I’m pretty sure, even back in P1 the cover always showed up as page 1.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
This has more to do with the PDF readers than the PDFs I’m pretty sure, even back in P1 the cover always showed up as page 1.

It's possible that some PDF readers don't pay attention to custom page numbers, or that you have to turn on a setting. But I'll note that the free, basic Adobe Acrobat Reader on my desktop does respect the numbering by default. I've checked literally all of the 2e and Starfinder PDFs that aren't adventures I'm playing, all in the same PDF reader, and there is in fact a difference between, say, Secrets of Magic and Guns & Gears.

Silver Crusade

Fascinating. I use GoodReader for mine. *taps chin*


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Fascinating. I use GoodReader for mine. *taps chin*

Interesting, and it's a paid reader. Maybe respecting page numbering is less common for iPad apps. I tried a few, and the Apple default reader, Acrobat Reader, and Foxit don't. But my go-to reader is PDF Expert, which is free, and it does.

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