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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Long documents like books need running heads. Though those might be footers at the bottom of the page or out in the outside margins, but wherever you put them, you probably want to provide a way for your reader to see where in the document they are. For example, what chapter or section they are reading. There are a couple of ways to do this. I am going to show you one of the lesser known options called Section Markers. In this document, I have chapters and sections and my Section 1 is called Beginnings, and I'd like to put that section name in the header.
I'll scroll down here to look at my second spread here. Over here above the right-hand page, I'd like to put the section name, on the left side I have the name of the document, the name of the book itself, but I am going to put the section name over here. To do that, I need to go to the Master page, that running head is on the Master page. So I'll open my Pages panel and I'll double-click on the Master page. Now I'll select that text frame, and I'll zoom in here with Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows to go to 200%, double-click on it to switch to the Type tool, and enter the name of the section.
But I don't want to have to manually type the name of the section every time. Instead, I want to put in a marker or a symbol, something that will change automatically for me. To do that I am going to go to the Type menu, choose the Insert Special Character menu and then look inside the Markers menu. And here, down at the bottom is Section Marker, that's what I want. And you'll see that all it says is Section. I'm on the Master page, so it has no section name. When we go back to our document page, for example, I'll double-click on spread 2-3 to jump to page 3 here, we can see that this section name is in there.
Well of course it's not in there yet, because we haven't told InDesign what the name of the section is. To do that we have to go to the Numbering and Sections options dialog box and there is a little shortcut to get there. See this little black triangle above page 1 here in the pages panel? If I double-click that black triangle, up comes a dialog box. Here among many other options is a field called Section Marker. That's where we are going to put the name of the section. I'll go ahead and type Beginnings here, that's the name of this section, and then I'll click OK and you can see that there it is on the page.
Any page within this section is going to have the running head that's called Beginnings. It's as simple as that. If I go to the next spread down, pages 4 and 5, I can see right here in the upper-right corner of page 5 the same thing, the same section name. Now let's jump to the next section. The first thing that I am going to do here is change the layout of my Pages panel. I am sorry this is driving me crazy. I'm going to right-click on this Pages panel, I am going to go down to the View Pages menu and then I am going to choose Horizontally. It's a little trick that if you don't know you should, because the horizontal page layout in InDesign is much more efficient when you're scrolling through.
You have a lot more pages in the small amount of real estate afforded you here. So I am going to go down here, I am just scrolling down to the next section start, which I happen to know is down here on page 52, here we go, zoom back to fit spread in window with a Command+Option+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0 on Windows, and I can see that Section 2 starts right here. We don't have a section start selected here; there is no black triangle yet. To do that, I'll right-click on this page, choose Numbering & Section Options and then I am going to leave the Page Numbering just the way it is here on Automatic. I'll make sure that the style is set to the proper numbering, we don't want Roman numerals here in the document.
And then I'm going to type this Section Marker, this is called Reawakening, there we go. That's the name of this section, click OK and you'll see that the only thing that really changed here is I have a little black triangle above that page now. Let's see if it worked. There's no running head on the chapter openers, but on the next spread over, there is. And if I zoom in here, we can see that indeed it has the name of that section. There are other ways to do page headers such as InDesign's Text Variables feature. But the Section Marker feature is a terrific way to manage your document headers as long as you're careful about how you're managing your sections inside your Pages panel.
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