Can I change the number of digits when I Bates Number?

Acrobat 8 introduced Bates Numbering and and additional features and performance enhancements were made in Acrobat 9 Pro.

See my Bates Numbering Movie! My Acrobat Training Movie Page has over 30 how-to movies such as the Bates Numbering Movie.

Last week, I got this e-mail message from a paralegal:

I don’t like Adobe’s mandatory 6 digit bate stamp. Why did they do that? I like to bate stamp with just single digits. It is more simple that way.

You might be aware that the custom is to Bates stamp discovery documents using six digits including leading zeros. However, that might not meet the needs of everyone. Some folks like to use four digits and others, like my most recent emailer above, wanted to use just one.

You might assume that Acrobat requires you to use a minimum of six digits for Bates numbering.

In fact, if when you Bates stamp (Advanced—> Document Processing Bates Numbering—> Add . . . ) and insert a Bates stamp you cannot change the number of leading digits through the standard dialog:

Bates add dialog

Actually, let me take that back. You can try, but Acrobat will give you an error:

Error message when choosing less than six digits for Bates Numbering

Fortunately, there is an easy workaround that allows you to Bates Number with only one digit. Read on to learn how. Along the way, you will also learn all you need to use Bates Numbering in Acrobat..

Can I Bates Number with less than six digits in Acrobat? Yes, here’s how . . .

Here’s how to Bates Number using less than six digits using Acrobat Pro:

  1. Advanced—> Document Processing Bates Numbering—> Add…
  2. Click the Add Files button at the top of the window. Locate the files you wish to Bates number to load them into the window.
  3. Add Files window
  4. Rearrange the files in the order required. Select a file(s) from the list and drag to change the order, or use the Move Up or Move Down buttons:
  5. Bates Numbering window

Bates Options Check out the Output Options button at the bottom of the Bates Numbering window.

  1. Output Options button

This button allows you to choose an output folder, add a prefix/suffix and rename to the Bates range.

  1. Click the OK button. Next, the Add Header/Footer window appears:
  2. Add Header Footer in Acrobat options
    A) Set the font
    B) Set the font size, color, style
    C) Set the margin values to choose the location of the number
    D) Click to reduce pages to prevent overlapping the number
    E) Click to Insert a Bates stamp
  3. Insert your cursor in entry fields for the header (left, center, right) or footer (left, center, right), then click the Insert Bates Number button
  4. Insert Bates Number button
  5. The Add Bates Number Options window appears. Here, you can set a starting number and a prefix or suffix. Click OK.
  6. Bates Numbering Options window
  7. Notice that Acrobat has added some text to the header field:
  8. Bates text to edit
    Next, we will edit this text to use less than six digits.
  9. Insert your cursor in the header field. Change the #6 to #1:
  10. Edit the Bates test to change the 6 to 1
  11. The preview section at the bottom of the Bates window will update with the new numbering set-up.
  12. Click OK to begin numbering your documents.