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In this course, author James Fritz shows how to create HTML-based websites with Muse—a toolset familiar to anyone who has used Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. The course covers the design process from start to finish, from setting up web pages and populating them with graphics and text, to creating dynamic menus and adding special features such as widgets, slideshows, animations, embedded video, social media integration, and more. James also explains how to create an alternate layout for display on mobile devices, publish and update your site, and view analytics on web traffic.
If you're going to be reusing the same content across multiple pages, it would be tedious to have to copy and paste the same thing over and over again. A simple way to ensure consistency across multiple pages is to use master pages. If you are already familiar with InDesign or PowerPoint, then you probably already have a good understanding of how they work. Inside Plan view, we can see that we have at the top of the screen all of the various pages in our site, and at the bottom is where our masters live.
At the moment, every single page in this site is connected to the A-Master, and you can see underneath it says A-Master, for example, Home A-Master, Collections A-Master. And if I change the name of the master--I'm just going to come down here and double-click and call this B-Master-- they would all update as well. That's because whatever happens on the A-Master will update on all of the original pages. If I don't want to see this little master badge, I can always just turn this off and not see it, but it's fairly useful to have this turned on so we can see what pages are connected to it.
Let's go to the master page and make a change. On the master page, I'm going to grab the Rectangle tool. I am just going to draw a really big rectangle here. We're going to change the fill to a color. I'll just make this be blue. Once I do this and I go back to the Plan view, you can see that every single page automatically gets this blue rectangle. To make this a little simpler, I'm going to rename the B-Master to be blue. When you go to a master, if you try to select the page item such as this blue rectangle, you're not able to select it because it's locked.
That's just the way Muse is. It's unlike Adobe InDesign where you can override a page item; you're not allowed to do that inside Muse. Let's make another master. I am going to go to the masters at the bottom, and we're going to call this one red. When we double-click, I'll do the same thing, make a large rectangle, and we're going to make the fill be Red. Now, back on the master page, you can see everything is still blue. But if I happen to grab the Red master, I can apply it to any of these other pages. Now they're connected to it.
So if I make a change on the Red master-- let's say resize this--it will update on all those pages. But no changes happened on the blue page because those pages are connected to blue. At any point, I can switch these back and forth. In fact, if I don't want it connected to a master at all, all I have to do is right-click, go to Masters, and choose None. If I want to apply Red again, I can either right-click and choose Red, or just drag and drop like I did earlier. If you're working with content on a page-- let's say the Collections page right here-- if I happen to draw something--we'll just draw this little rectangle here, and we'll give it a color, like yellow--you see that everything I create automatically is above the master item.
That's just the way it works by default. But, if you change your mind and you want your master page item to be above everything else, we can make that change on the master itself. All I have to do is go to that master, select that master page item, and go to Object > Move To > Master Foreground. When I do this, it gets a red border. That means it's going to be above everything on the actual page. So, if I close this and go back to Collections, we can see that it's above everything. Now, I still can't select the master, but I can select everything else, and it will just be behind it.
This can be really useful if there's a header or footer or certain items that you want to be above everything no matter what. Master pages are fairly common for menus, headers, and footers. However, any time you find yourself replicating a certain portion of a page over and over again, it might be time to consider building a master page for that section.
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