I’d like to share my solution. It came to me partially in my sleep, I tried refining it this morning but because of time, finally had my production person print the manually numbered tickets so that we could deliver them to the customer who needed them today. Here is my solution. I deduced that it would be better to let a program designed to count, do the counting. I used Excel. I then let InDesign CS4 do the merging. Here’s the formula.
Given that Word can support 2,147,483,647 SEQ fields, the whole job could be done in a single document containing 30,000 tickets. On my system, creating such a document took only a few minutes and, once created took about two minutes to update the fields - and that was with about 40,000 pairs of SEQ fields coded as {SEQ Ticket \# 00000} and {SEQ Ticket \c \# 00000}. This number formatting is enough to go to 99,999 tickets.
But it’s not hard to duplicate and reduplicate until you have a thousand or more numbered tickets. I think the conclusion of all these Rube Goldberg approaches is that InDesign still isn’t ready for handling what is really a head-smacking-stupid-simple kind of numbering job — the kind of jobs computers were created for in the first place. My DOS word processor XyWrite — from AD 1987! — could do numbering stuff like this in no time and with no trouble. Quite ridiculous, really, when you consider the staggering graphics and typography capabilities inside InDesign — but the poor thing cannot really count. I handle this much differently. I create a number list in Excel and save as a txt file.
The SEQ or Sequential Numbering Function in Word is the best and quickest way to number your tickets. Many raffle ticket templates use them, yet few sites explain how it works. To see if it uses the SEQ function, you need to download the template first. Then, open it in Word, click right in the middle of where a serial number is, and then right-click. how to number raffle tickets in publisher
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