# Reversing the effect of \nopagenumbers in plain TeX

I'm happy with Plain TeX's page-numbering format, except that I want to turn it off for the first few pages of my book. I can do this with the \nopagenumbers macro, but is there a macro with the opposite effect, to make the page numbers reappear later? Or do I have to manually re-establish the default footer?

A quick look at \nopagenumbers shows

> \nopagenumbers=macro:
->\footline {\hfil }.


while \showthe\footline yields

> \hss \tenrm \folio \hss .


Thus the simplest solution is by hand

\def\pagenumbers{\footline{\hss\tenrm\folio\hss}}


You could of course save the existing definition using something like

\newtoks\savedfootline
\savedfootline\expandafter{\the\footline}


and restore with

\footline\expandafter{\the\savedfootline}


or use a group within your document: \begingroup before \nopagenumbers and \endgroup after.

Note that whatever approach you use, make sure you force a new page, for example

\begingroup
\nopagenumbers
<content>
\vfil
\eject
\endgroup

• Why toks and not let? – Yiannis Lazarides Oct 18 '13 at 6:04
• @YiannisLazarides You can't \let here as that will still point to the same toks, not the content of the toks (same for all registers). I could save the content in a macro in this case, but in general you can't be sure of that so best practice is to save toks in toks, not macros. – Joseph Wright Oct 18 '13 at 6:08