What Does a Paginator Do?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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A paginator is a person who is responsible for laying out the various pages of a newspaper, book, or other media project. In pagination, professionals assemble all of the content for a text or web project, and lay it out according to templates for numerical pages. The result is an ordered final product where each page includes specific content designated by the paginator. This usually includes a table of contents or other ordering index that has to be precisely ordered and checked for accuracy.

While some paginators work only on this very specific task, others have a more diverse job role. Some jobs for paginators also require writing or editing of existing content. In small offices, the paginator may get even more additional duties. Some newspaper offices or other businesses combine the role of the paginator with that of an ombudsman. The ombudsman is an individual who handles complaints, in this case from readers, and may take active steps to make corrections in text, or run corrections to already published stories in future versions of the periodical.


In the world of modern media, an paginator often works with specific software to lay out publications. Traditional offices did not use this kind of technology, but as much of print media became automated, or done through digital tools, specific programs were developed to help with quick and effective layout for print projects. Paginators will generally be experienced with these specific types of programs that use their own layout measurements for pages, rather than the traditional metric or English systems.

Many paginators often focus on quality control. This includes the correct labeling of pages and sequential page numbering, but it also relates to the broader issue of clear, legible text and text columns that are well laid out. Stories that are printed on multiple pages should allow the reader to easily follow them through the publication. This is another element of layout that a paginator might work on. These professionals might also be in charge of critical measurements for advertisements, including the sizes and shapes of individual ads on a page.

The core work for a paginator is usually to sign off on completed projects to show that they’re ready for publication. This professional provides a critical step in the layout and editing process for a range of different media. An eye for detail benefits the paginator, as does experience in print media and software and IT skills. Other professionals often play a similar role for webpage design, ensuring that each page or section is logically and attractively organized, and that the site map has links to every part of the site.


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