Indesign master pages

by Design Workshop Sydney

Setting up Master pages is a crucial element of an Indesign template document, and will greatly increase the user’s efficiency and workflow. We demonstrate how in our Adobe Indesign training courses.Indesign-master-pages
Together with auto page numbering and the addition of paragraph styles and character styles, Master pages form the basic structure of the design. Basically anything on a Master page will carry through to selected local pages, so items we would include on those pages would be headers and footers, sidebars, logos, page numbering, and the title of the journal or document.
When you create a new document you will see an A-Master at the top of the Pages panel – each new document has this by default. You can use it, ignore it, or create more master pages. Note also the small letter A applied to the local page thumbnails. This indicates that anything placed on the A-Master will be replicated on each of the local pages with this small letter A.
So, to do so, first double-click on the A-Master title to enter into the A-Master environment – this is usually a double-page spread (if Facing Pages has been ticked in the initial New Document panel). Otherwise the A-Master will be a single page, like those below.
Then we simply add the elements we wish to be shown on several or all pages. The example here is a red and orange footer shape created with the Pen tool, together with some text and a placed logo. We can have this spread across both left and right pages of each spread, or simply on one page. We would then double-click on some of the local pages to check the effect. We may also adjust the non-printing margins to ensure that text does not run over onto a footer element.
We could then create a B-Master for pages with side-bar elements – these could be for new section or chapter pages. Note also the None option above the A-Master – we could apply this to pages on which we don’t want any master elements, like blank pages at the beginning and end of a document, or the front and back pages which generally have completely different design elements.
To apply a master page simply click and drag the icon onto each local page, or go to the panel options and choose Apply Master to Pages, whereupon a dialog box will open, in which you enter the pages you wish to apply the master page to.
When we have added all our Master page elements, and our text styles, masthead on page 1, and our contact details on the back page, we would then save the document as an Indesign Template (indt) file. The each month or so, when we wish to create a new issue of the document, instead of going to File, New, we go to File, Open and navigate to our template file. When we click on this a new document will be created, with all the attributes of the template file.
After some time we will have created a batch of templates for different purpose and this will greatly increase our productivity and efficiency.
More tips and techniques can be found at Adobe user groups which meet regularly in most capital cities, and are free forums for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See also many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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