Bates numberingTry orange Franklin Gothic

Just as pa­per is yield­ing to PDF as the pre­ferred for­mat for dis­cov­ery, man­u­ally stamped Bates num­ber­ing is yield­ing to dig­i­tal numbering.

I pre­fer the con­ve­nience of dig­i­tal Bates num­ber­ing. But I miss the look of the stamp. The blue ink and the dis­tinct font made the num­ber easy to spot on the page, even af­ter be­ing pho­to­copied. Dig­i­tal Bates num­ber­ing is of­ten small, black, and set in Times New Ro­man or Ar­ial—all of which cam­ou­flages the numbers.

Tips for mak­ing dig­i­tal Bates num­bers stand out:

  1. Make the point size rea­son­ably big—not smaller than 12 point.

  2. Use a font with good nu­mer­als. Among sys­tem fonts, I like Franklin Gothic Medium or Franklin Gothic Demi. Avoid fonts that are con­densed or dark on the page (e.g., Ar­ial Black). These fonts are hard to read at small sizes and don’t stand up well to scan­ning or photocopying.

  3. Use color. I rec­om­mend a medium-dark or­ange. Not the most at­trac­tive, but it stands out be­cause or­ange rarely oc­curs in dis­cov­ery (un­less you’re su­ing a pump­kin com­pany). Or­ange isn’t so bright that it gets washed out when re­pro­duced in black and white.

  4. Make sure your Bates num­bers don’t get stamped in the con­tent of the doc­u­ment. Adobe Ac­ro­bat can shrink doc­u­ments uni­formly so there’s a clean mar­gin for the numbering.

How to apply customized Bates numbering

Adobe Ac­ro­batIn Ac­ro­bat 8 or 9, go to Advanced → Document Processing → Bates Numbering → Add. In Ac­ro­bat X or XI, Tools panel → Pages → Bates Numbering → Add Bates Numbering. In Ac­ro­bat DC, Tools → Stamp → Bates Numbering → Add. Se­lect the doc­u­ments to be num­bered and click OK. You’ll be taken to the Ac­ro­bat Add Header and Footer win­dow. The mid­dle of this win­dow has six boxes cor­re­spond­ing to lo­ca­tions on the page (Left Header Text, Center Header Text, and so on). Click in the box where you want your Bates num­ber. Click Insert Bates Number and then click OK. You will get a dinky, il­leg­i­ble Bates num­ber. Near the top of the win­dow, un­der the la­bel Font, change the font and the point size. Click the black square to the right to change the color. To en­sure your Bates num­bers don’t col­lide with any page con­tent, click Appearance Options and check Shrink document to avoid overwriting the document’s text and graphics. Click OK. Make any other nec­es­sary ad­just­ments in the main win­dow. Click OK to ap­ply the Bates numbering.

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