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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
In an earlier movie, we saw that the New Document dialog box lets you set your document's margin and column guides. But what do you do if you need to change your mind later, once it's already created? Or what if you want different margins in different parts of your document? No problem. That's where the Margins and Columns feature underneath the Layout menu comes in. But before you choose this feature, it's important to tell InDesign which pages you want to affect. So I'll not choose that and first I'll come over to the Pages panel and choose which pages I want to affect.
Here I have pages 16 and 17 selected inside the Pages panel, that's the spread I'm currently looking at. And so if I make a change to Margins and Columns, it will affect only this spread. I can select other pages as well by just clicking on them. For example, I'll click on page 14 and then Shift+Click down on page 19 and that selects all of those pages. So if I go up to the Layout menu and choose Margins and Columns, it will affect all three of these spreads. However, I also noticed that these spreads all have the little letter A, and that A means that these are based on a master page called master page A, up here at the top of the Pages panel.
I'm going to be covering master pages in a later chapter, but I do want to just jump forward for a moment here and tell you that master pages are a great way to set up almost templates for pages to be based on. So anything that changes about a master page will also affect all the pages that they're based on. So in this case, I can click on A-main page, which highlights the master page up at the top of the Pages panel. And if I now go to Layout menu and choose Margins and Columns, it will affect every page in this document that's based on master page A, in other words all of these spreads.
So we can see here that the Top Margin is 1.5 inches down from the top of the page, and the Bottom is almost an inch from the bottom and so on. And each of these numbers are different. You'll also see this little icon here. It's actually a button and if I click that, it will link all of these fields together. In other words, all the numbers, in all of these fields will become the same number. But in general, with Margins, you almost always have a different margin on different sides of the page. So I'm going to leave that unclicked. You can also change the number of columns here at the bottom part of the dialog box here.
So let's go ahead and just make some changes. I'll change the Top Margin to let's say 2 inches and I'll change the Bottom Margin to 2 inches in as well, just for the sake of a demo. And I can't see it on the page yet because my Preview checkbox is not turned on. So I'll turn on the Preview checkbox and now we can see that the page margins have changed at the Top and the Bottom. The magenta lines are the bottom and top margin in my document. I have changed it on the master page and all the document pages, including this spread, have updated. But we'll notice it changed the margin guides but it did not change the objects on the page.
I can do the same thing by changing the Columns. You see now I've got four columns on the page instead of five, but it does not change anything on the page. That is because the Enable Layout Adjustment checkbox was turned off. By default, this checkbox is turned off so you don't get yourself into trouble. Because if you do turn it on, it's going to start moving stuff all over your page and it could really mess up your layout. So you have to use Layout Adjustment very carefully. Now, in fact I'm going to cancel out of this and I'm going to not make this change to the whole master page. I'm only going to affect this one page just by clicking on the numbers in the Pages panel here.
I don't like applying Layout Adjustment to a master page generally because it'll affect so many objects in my document, I don't know what's going to go wrong. So let's go ahead and do it just to this one spread. I'll go to Layout, Margins and Columns, I'll turn on Layout Adjustment this time, and you'll see because the Preview checkbox is turned on that the Layout will change. I'll go ahead and change this to 2 inches, I'll hit tab, and now the margins changed and the objects changed, some of these text frames changed. Now some did and some did not. What's the difference? This text frame over here changed because it was touching the margin.
In other words, Layout Adjustment only affects frames, or objects on the page, that are touching the margins or touching the column guides. I'll go ahead and change the number of columns here to 4 and you can see that some objects changed and some did not. This frame here changed. It got wider, because it was touching a Column guide. So when I changed the number of columns, it got stretched out. On other hand, this object down here had no change at all because it went all the way out to the edge of the page. It was not affected by the change in the column guides at all.
These text frames were touching the columns guides, so they were affected. You get the idea here. The system is if it's touching a guide, it will be affected by a layout adjustment. If it's not touching a guide, then it won't. Let's go ahead and make another change here, maybe move this up a little bit, maybe that was a little bit too far down. I'll type 1.75 inches, hit Tab to take it effect, and you can see that it's moved back up. I'll click OK and we can see that this document is looking pretty good, but there are clearly some things that I'm going to need to clean up. It's not perfect. In my experience, Layout Adjustment does a pretty good job, but it's far from perfect.
You almost always need to go back and change things a little here, a little there, to make it work with the new Margins, the new Columns. So proof your documents carefully after each change you make. Fortunately, most of the time, at least for simple documents, it does just fine.
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