InDesign Setting up a Document Part 4

An Overview of InDesign’s Master Pages.

This is the last of the series of InDesign tutorials about setting up a document. This time we will work with one of the InDesign’s palettes, i.e., the Pages palette. If you read the first lesson, you will know how to find it. So open your Pages palette now if it isn’t open already. Here is a screenshot.

The Pages Palette
(enlarged version)

You can see that the Pages palette is divided in two. The upper part is where your master pages are, while the lower part is where the actual pages of the documents are.

Let’s have a look at the upper part. You have a master page called A-Master and you have a page above it called None. If you were to drag a page from the master page to the lower part of the palette, you would get a new page based on that master. If you drag from the page called None, you will have a totally blank page which isn’t based on any master. If you drag the page called None to the New Page button, what do you get? Surprise! You get a new master page called B-Master. If you carry on doing that, you will get a C-Master, D-Master and so on. You can also get a new master by clicking on the arrow on the top right of the palette to open the Pages palette menu and then choose New Master…

There are other ways to add pages. Instead of dragging the master pages down to the lower part of the palette, where the normal pages are, you can either just click on the New Page button or you go to the Page palette menu and choose Insert Pages. You can then choose the number of pages you want to select, where to put those pages (after or before which already existing page) and which master to base them on. If you have multiple masters, and you are adding pages by clicking the New Page button instead of the Insert Pages option in the Page palette menu, the new pages will be based on the last master chosen in the Insert Pages option. For example, let’s say that you have Master A and Master B. You just went to the Insert Pages option and you have added 10 pages based on Master B. If you now want to add another page by using the New Page button at the bottom of the Page palette, your new page will also be based on Master B.

Now let’s say that you only have one master, the A-Master. You have a box for a picture in each page and the picture will be different in each page (even though it’s placed in the exact same position and that is why you have put it in your master page). If you just click on that box on any of the pages in the document, you will see that you cannot edit it (unless you are working on your master page). So what’s the point? You say. Well you have several options here that allow you to make changes to all of these twin pages.

If you want to change just one item on any page that is based on a master page, press Control+Shift (Windows) or Command + Shift (Macintosh) as you select the item on the page. You can now do what you want with that item.

If you want to be able to change all of the items on a spread, click on a spread first and then go to the menu of your Pages palette and choose Override All Master Pages Items.

This is a series of 4 articles.

1. Slugfest and Bleeds: The Ring Match of InDesign
2. Rulers and Spine
3. Setting up the page, grids and margins
4. Master Pages

Previous | Next

7 thoughts on “InDesign Setting up a Document Part 4”

  1. for some strange reason my page palette is not showing me the scroll bar, the new page button or the delete page button, and the pages are aligned to the right of the palette. i have tried resetting the workspace to default, shutting down, restarting and reinstalling. any ideas? the pages palette is the only palette that is doing this all others are fine. also, when opening the indd document on another computer the palette is fine…

  2. Did you go to the palette options? It’s in the menu that shows when you click on the little arrow of the palette, providing it shows on your palette.

    If that doesn’t solve it, did you try trashing the preferences?

    What version of InDesign are you using on what operating system?

  3. i am working with CS2 on OSX. i did go to t he palette menu but there are only a few options available (horizontal/ vertical view of pages, masters on top or bottom, and icon size). what do you mean by trashing the preerences? i did go to preferences but did not see anything that related…unless i overlooked something. thanks for your help!

  4. Preferences are stored in a file. In OS X you should find it in Users/[your user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign

    Close InDesign first, then delete that file. Restart InDesign. If you still have the problem, then we need to invent a solution ;)

    If your pages palette gives you headaches after this, what did you do just before it started behaving that way?

  5. Hi,

    I had this problem, but solved it by going to the preferences as mentioned above (In OS X you should find it in Users/[your user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign) and removing a file called ‘ActiveWorkspace.xml’ located in a folder called Version 4.0.

    Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.