Does anyone here know if the CSS property display: none is supported by all ereaders?

Let me explain why I'm asking...

I'm turning a 500-page book that's in the public domain into an ebook. The index is 40 pages of fine print. Now that I've finished typing it up, the hard work begins - linking all those entries, all of which are linked to page numbers in the original book.

Then I figured out a way to automate it to some extent. I simply find the place in my text where page 33 begins in the original book and change the following...

<p>California was the first...

to this...

<p><span class="PageNumber">33</span>California was the first...

I can then give class a PageNumber a style that makes it really stand out, so I can see where all the original pages begin and end.

When I'm finished with my index, I can then change the style to display: none. The page numbers will still be there, serving as anchors, but readers won't see anything at all.

I know that more advanced CSS isn't supported by all ereaders, but I think display: none is an older, more established style. I just wondered if this strategy could create problems.

  • I can't answer this for all devices, but with epub files on my Kobo Glo "display:none" works as expected; anyway, why do you need page numbers in an ebook, that basically don't have "pages"? And why do you need an index when ebooks are searchable?
    – Sekhemty
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 14:44
  • Good questions. I seriously considered ditching the index for the reasons you cite. However, this is a classic reference, and I'd kind of like to preserve the index. I even thought about just inserting it as a static index, without links. However, I thought it might be nice to go the extra mile and include links. Also, there are certain subjects that are a little hard to search for.
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 2:11
  • 1
    I have to wonder whether using anchors (with the A tag) where the id is the page number isn't easier to do. I can't answer your question, but I'd worry about extra space being created within a span tag. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 18:17
  • Stupid me, I complete spaced out the ID's, though it was a pretty quick fix. My code now looks like this: <span class="PageNumber" id="236">236</span> Is that what you meant? Also, I was worried that extra spaces between my span and the following text would show up as an extra space in the epub, but that doesn't appear to be happening.
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


Would inserting a visible-for-production page number

<p><b>33</b><a id="p33"/>California was the first...

and removing the bold page num with a regular expression find/replace at completion work for you?

  • Yes, that could be a cool way to do this. Would you by chance know the regular expression that removes the bold numeral. (I work mostly in Dreamweaver and BBEdit.)
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 0:07
  • long time since used BBEdit, but i would start with <b>(\d+)</b>
    – jorourke
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 2:14

Try to use anchor tag as shown below and link these id in your index page.


<p><a id=”p33” />California was the first...

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