Section 79. Working with Master Pages


#79. Working with Master Pages

If you use InDesign to create long documents, such as books, catalogs, magazines, and newspapers, understanding and using master pages is critical to working efficiently. A master page serves as the background for document pages and contains elements that appear on all pages, like page numbers, page headers, and page footers. A master page can also contain placeholder frames for text and graphics. Placing objects on master pages and basing document pages on master pages saves you the time and effort required to manually place repeated elements on multiple document pages.

When you create a new document, it contains a single blank master-page called A-Master. For facing-page documents, A-Master has a left (verso) page and a right (recto) page. By default, all document pages are based on A-Master. Objects that you place on A-Master are automatically placed on document pages based on A-Master.

The Pages palette (Window > Pages; Figure 79a) displays thumbnails of master pages (top) and document pages (below). To display a master page in the document window, double-click a master page thumbnail. Use InDesign's drawing tools to add objects to master pages the same way you do for document pages. Objects you place on a left-side master page in a facing-page document are placed on even-numbered pages; objects you place on a right-side master page are placed on odd-numbered pages. Master objects are placed at the bottom of the layer they're onat the bottom of the stacking order (see #82 for more information about layers). If you want to place master objects in front of objects on document pages, create a layer for them and make it the topmost layer.

Figure 79a. Master page thumbnails are displayed at the top of the Pages palette. Document page thumbnails are below.


You can create and use as many master pages as you want. For example, a newsletter might have a master page that's based on a three-column format and another that's based on a two-column format. When laying out the newsletter, you can base its pages on either the three-column or two-column master page.

The "None" Master Page

In addition to the A-Master master page, all documents include a master page called None. The None master page is completely blankno margins, columns, or objectsand you can't modify it. You can use the None master page for blank document pages. For example, if you're laying out a magazine, you could use the None master page as a placeholder for document pages that will contain full-page ads.


To create a new master page, choose New Master from the Pages palette menu. In the New Master dialog box (Figure 79b) assign a prefix and a name. The Based on Master menu lets you base a new master page on an existing master page to create a parent-child-type relationship between the two. Changes you make to the parent master page are automatically applied to the child master. For a facing-page document, the Number of Pages should be 2 (left side and right side).

Figure 79b. When you create a new master page, you can assign a prefix and a name, and choose another master page as its "parent."


You can apply a master page to a document page in several ways:

  • Drag a master page thumbnail onto a document page thumbnail. If you drag a master page thumbnail onto the dog-eared corner of a facing-page document page, a black border is displayed around the spread. Release the mouse to apply the master page to both pages of the spread.

  • Select one or more document page thumbnails, choose Apply Master to Pages from the Pages palette menu, and then choose a master page from the Apply Master menu.

  • If you choose Insert pages from the Pages palette menu to add pages to a document, you can assign a master page for the new pages by choosing one from the Master menu in the Insert Pages dialog box.

When you change a document page's master page, the margins, columns, and objects from the old master page are removed from the document page, and the margins, columns, and objects on the new master page are added. When you change an object on a master page, the change is reflected on all pages based on that master page.

Selecting and Modifying Master Objects on Document Pages

The objects you place on a master page are referred to as master objects. You can't select a master object on a document page by simply clicking it with a selection tool as you do with nonmaster objects. To select a master object on a document page, press Command+Shift (Mac OS) or Ctrl+Shift (Windows) and click the object with a selection tool. If you make a change to a master object on a document page, it remains a master object, and subsequent changes you make to the object on the master page are applied to the master object you modified on the document page. To break a link between a master object on a document page and its master page, select the object on the document page, and then choose Detach Selection From Master from the Pages palette menu.


The Pages palette menu includes several commands for working with master pages. Here's a brief description of a few that are particularly useful:

  • Override All Master Page Items allows you to make local changes to a master object on a document page and still maintain a link to the object on the master page.

  • Undo All Local Overrides allows you to undo any changes you've made to master objects on a document page.

  • Detach All Objects from Master allows you to break the link between master objects on the current page and its master page.

  • Save as Master allows you to save the current document page as a master page.



Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321321901
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 142

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