What is Bates Numbering and How to Use in PDFs?

Tue. 07 Dec. 202128943

There is no secret that legal, business and medical professionals are confronted with mountains of PDF documents every day. So, it’s of great significance to make it clear how to identify PDFs and index it timely in order to make sense of the mess. Fortunately, Bates numbering system allows you to do so!

Whether you're a muggle or a geek in your career, this article will help simplify your work. Bates numbering is user friendly, as adding it to PDF documents is easier than you might think! Here's a complete rundown on what it is and how to do it. 

1. What is Bates Numbering?

2. How to use in PDFs

What is Bates Numbering?

In fact, a Google search for “What is Bates Numbering?” comes up with over 104 million results! To some extent, Bates Numbering greatly improves your work efficiency. Next, let's enjoy the history of it to deeply figure out what it is.


The Bates Numbering Machine (also known as the Bates Stamper) was invented in the late 19th century by Edwin G. Bates. Mr. Bates of New York City. He obtained several United States patents assigned to the Bates Manufacturing Company for the device from 1891 to 1901. Furthermore, after leaving Bates Manufacturing Company, Bates founded the Bates Numbering Machine Company, formerly known as the Bates Machine Company. With one goal in mind, he worked to simplify and improve the effectiveness of document identification and information retrieval.


Bates Numbering (or Bates Stamping) is an indexing method used for legal, business and medical documents (PDFs in most cases). In addition, the numbering system is your best bet while looking for a way to index your PDFs for easy retrieval. 

Moreover, Bates Numbers are perceived as a unique identifier and page label within a set of documents. It assigns certain numbers, date or time marks to all the pages within your PDFs. The added numbers, date or time marks then act as special identifiers of the various pages, describing the relationship between those pages. Bates Numbers should be placed as headers or footers in a PDF to ensure that pages in the same PDF are organized together.

How to use in PDFs?

So far, you may have had a basic understanding of Bates Numbering. It’s most commonly used by government agencies, law firms and medical practices, where sets of PDF documents can have up to thousands of pages each. After all, It is a feature that legal, medical, and business professionals welcome. Needless to say, those professionals deal with PDFs containing multiple pages. Indexing pages with Bates Numbers makes retrieving information out of them an effortless task. What’s more, to know how to use Bates Numbering has become an urgent question.

To add Bates Numbers to PDFs

1. First, open your document in PDF Reader Pro, select "More" > "Bates Numbers" > "Add". Then tap Tools on the main menu -> Bates Numbers; and select ‘Apply’ to customize the serial numbers.


2. Or tap Editor Editoron the toolbar -> Bates Numbers Bates Numbers to add an unique prefix or suffix which can be a set of number, case number, firm name or date.


3. Batch add Bates Numbers is supported when selecting Bates Numbers


To remove Bates Numbers from PDFs

1. Open the file in PDF Reader Pro.

2. Click Tools/Editor

3. Select Bates Numbers

4. Click ‘Remove/Batch remove Bates Numbers’

5. Select your file and click ‘Remove Bates Numbers’


Main points to note

1. If your file is password protected, you need to enter the password for decryption before adding Bates Numbers

2. If you select a folder including multiple file formats, only the PDFs in your folder will be added

3. You can also add a unique prefix or suffix which can be a set of number, case number, firm name or date. Adding alphanumeric prefixes and suffixes boosts the functionality of your Bates identifiers, making them easily accessible.

Bates Numbers

Originally, it was a tedious and time-consuming process for people to label and process their paperwork. However, no time will be wasted on such a mundane task as sifting through and indexing PDF documents with Bates Numbers now. It goes without saying that this is a huge time and money saver. All you need is an all-in-one PDF Reader Pro for free trial or paid and you’re all set to go.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!