Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using master pages, part of InDesign: Creating Long Documents.
- You'll be able to work most efficiently if you build up your document pages strategically using the Based On feature for master pages. The first thing to do is to figure out all the page types you have to create. Hopefully, at some point, you'll be given some example pages, prototype design files, or specifications to do this. Look at the page types and see what they all have in common. It could be just margins and a footer with a page number. The most common elements can be by themselves on a very basic master page that'll be the foundation for your documents.
Then, for each page type, you can quickly build up variations by creating new masters with the Based On feature. Let's see how this works. I'll start by creating a new document. Just choose File>New Document, and in the dialogue box I'll set it up as a print document with two pages, starting on Page 2. So I'll have spread. I'll choose facing pages. No primary text frame. And for the width and height, I'll use my trim size, which is six inches by nine inches. And you can see InDesign automatically converts the units for me to picas.
The orientation is portrait, and now I'll work on the margins. I'll start by deselecting the chain icon, so I can have different margins all around. At the top I want five picas. Five picas at the bottom. Four and a half picas on the inside, and six picas on the outside. And for the bleed and slug area, I'll enter in some common values, like a one pica bleed all around, and a three pica slug on the top, bottom, and outside. If your long document is destined for print output, you should use values that come from your print service provider.
I'll click OK, and there's the basis for our long document. Next, I'm going to load some styles and text variables which I've created in advance. We'll cover styles and variables in detail later on, but for now I just want to show how you can get a document built up quickly, with some common elements that you'll use over and over again in different projects. The formatting may change, but the odds are for a book project you're always going to need something like a body text style and a running header showing a chapter title and so on. So, why reinvent the wheel every time out, when you can just load these styles and elements into your document and then change the definitions to fit your current project.
So, to load them, I'll press command or ctrl-d, and in the exercise files, Chapter One, Lesson Four, you'll find this file here, BaseStyles.idms. This is an InDesign snippet file, and I cover how to make snippets like this in a later movie. I'll click Open. And you can see my cursor is loaded with these elements. Now I actually don't want any text or other objects added to my document, so I'm just going to press Escape right now. Those elements are gone, but if I go into the paragraph styles panel, for example, you can see that it loaded all these paragraph styles for me.
Pretty handy. Now I can begin making master pages. I'll go to the pages panel, and I'll double-click on the A Master, and then right-click on it to bring up the Master Options dialogue box. I'll give it a prefix of B, and a name of Base, and click OK. Then I'll add the two text frames that I know appear on almost every page type, and those are the footer on both the left and right-hand pages. So, I'll take my type tool. Drag out text frame to the margins, and in the control panel, I'll set the height to one pica, and the y-position to 50 picas.
I'll double-click on the frame to get my cursor into it, and I'll choose Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Current Page Number. Then, with the selection tool, I'll select the frame, hold down option and shift, or alt-shift, and drag to the right to make a copy for the right-hand page. I'll select both the frames. Go to my paragraph styles and use one of the files that I loaded with the snippet. This folio style. Deselect, and I can see the folio aligns to the left on the left page and the right on the right-hand page because I've chose to align away from the spine.
And this is all I want on these pages right now. This is the master spread on which we can base our other page types, and if the time comes when we need to make changes to the fundamental aspects of the book design, we can make them once on this spread, and then see those changes repeated on all our other page types. Now I'll make the next most common page type I have, which is the basic body text page, and the only difference between the base master we just made and the new body text master will be a running header on the body text pages up here above the text area.
So I'll got to the pages panel, from the panel menu I'll choose New Master, I'll give it a prefix of BT, a name of Body Text, and be sure that it is based on the base, and click OK. Now I need to add the text frames for the running header, which is going to display the chapter title on the left, and the book title on the right. So, again I'll take my type tool. Drag out a frame to the margins. Make it one pica tall, and this time the y-coordinate will be two picas near the top of the page.
I'll double-click on the frame and choose Type>Text Variables>Insert Variable>Chapter Title. This is one of those elements that I created in advance and brought into the document with the snippet. I'll go to my paragraph styles panel, and I'll apply the header paragraph style. Select the frame. Again hold option or alt plus shift, drag to the right to make a copy, and on the right-hand side I just need the book title. And since that's not going to change, I can just type it in.
And the title of this book is, "The Complete Book of Cheese". Now the main text frame, if your design calls for one, can also be here on the master page, but you don't need a text frame if you're going to flow text all the way to the margins. InDesign can create threaded text frames and pages on the fly when you flow text into the document. Those frames will be fit to the margins and columns of the master page. So for simple page types, where the text frame will always fit to the margins and columns, there is no need for a master text frame, or a primary text frame.
But if you need multi-column text frames, frames that don't go all the way to the margins, or separate threaded text frames together on the same page, then you do need to put text frames on the master. Now let's make one more master spread, and this time it will be for the chapter opener. In this book, each chapter begins with a full-page photo on the left, and a text frame on the right-hand side that begins lower down on the page than the rest of the chapter. So I'll go back to the pages panel, and this time I'll use a short cut, I'll hold down command-option, or ctrl-alt, and click on the New Page icon.
This opens the New Master dialogue box, and this one I'll give a prefix of CO, and a name of Chapter Opener, and again I'll base it on the base. And this page inherits the margins and the footer. Now I know the only thing I'm ever going to want on the left-hand side is a photo, so I don't want this page to inherit anything else from the master that it's based on. So I'm actually going to select this page, hold down the option or alt key, and click on the None master. So now this page is based on None, and you can see that the footer got removed.
On the right-hand page, I want to change this top margin, so I'll select that page, I'll choose Layout>Margins and Columns, and change the top margin to nine picas. On the left-hand page, I'll drag with the rectangle frame tool. Zoom out a little bit so I can see the bleed, and draw it straight to the bleed and the gutter. Now if I knew I needed certain formatting attached to this photo frame, like a strobe, or corner effects, or a drop shadow, I would create an object style now, and apply it to the frame here on the master page.
That way if I ever needed to change the appearance of the frame, I could just edit the object style, and it would be reflected on every document page based on this master. So in this movie, we started the process of building a long document using the Based On feature of master pages. We created a base master, and then two other masters for body text and chapter openers, which will respond to changes made in the base master. And we could continue to do this until we created all the different page types that we needed in our book design.
- Using automatic numbering for pages, sections, and chapters
- Using text variables for running headers
- Creating templates for InDesign, InCopy, and Word
- Formatting page elements with object styles
- Automating text formatting with nested styles and GREP styles
- Controlling color with swatches
- Building page elements with libraries and snippets
- Performing GREP find/changes
- Tracking changes
- Adding footnotes and indexes
- Using InDesign book files
- Preflighting documents