Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using master pages, part of Creating Long Documents with InDesign.
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You'll get the best results with your documents if you build your pages strategically. You can do this by setting up your documents to use master pages that are based on one another, and the scenario here is that we've been given a prototype and some specifications to use as a guide for building our InDesign documents. You'll get the best results with your documents if you build your pages strategically with based on master pages. So the scenario here is that we've been given a design prototype and some specifications to use as guides for building our InDesign template. And I'm going to start right at the beginning with a new document by pressing Command + N or Ctrl + N to get the New Document dialog box, and in the dialog box I am going to set it up as a print document with 2 pages, starting on page 2, so I get a spread, I will use Facing Pages and no Master Text Frame and for the Page Size I am going to enter in specifications I got for the trim size of my project, which is 6 inches X 9 inches, portrait Orientation, 1 Column, and for the Margins, I was given a 5 pica Top margin, also a 5 pica Bottom margin, and I will unconstrain so I can set a smaller Inside margin of 4 pica 6 and the Outside margin of 6 picas.
For the Bleed and Slug, I was given a spec of 1 pica bleed all around, and I'll constrain, so I can set a Slug area of 3 picas all around. And I'll click OK. Now my new document is of course pretty empty. If I look in the paragraph styles panel there is nothing there and no character styles either, but if I look in my swatches, there are several swatches that came in by default and I actually don't want these here. I don't want them to get used by accident, and I don't want them getting in my way later.
So I am going to go to the Swatches panel menu and Select All Unused, and click on the trash can to delete them. Next I am going to load some building blocks for my templates, some styles and text variables that I have created ahead of time, and these styles and text variables can be used over and over on different projects because while the exact formatting may change, there is always going to be a need for a body text style, there's usually going to be need for a running header text variable to show something like a chapter title, and so forth. So why reinvent the wheel each time? I can just load them into my template and then change the definitions to suit the current project.
So to load them, I will press Command + D or Ctrl + D to bring up the Place dialog box, and I'll navigate to my BaseStyles snippet and double-click to load it. And now I see I have a loaded cursor with those page items. So if I were to click, I'd place those page items in my document, but the interesting thing is if I look in my panels, like in my swatches, there is a couple of new swatches here. If I look in my paragraph styles, there's a whole bunch of paragraph styles already loaded. So I actually don't even need to place these page elements on the page, and since I am not going to want them anyway, I am not going to bother placing them.
I am just going to press the escape key to cancel, and I still have all my new document resources added to my template. One thing I do want to get rid of is I'll go up to the layers panel, and I want to get rid of this default Layer 1, since that's not going to be in my project. So with it selected, I will just click on the trash can to get rid of it. So now I just have a text layer and an art layer. And I'll target the text layer. So now with my generic styles and text variables loaded into my new document, I can begin making master pages. I'll go to the Pages panel, and I will double-click on A-Master to target it, and then I will Option + Click or Alt + Click on the name to bring up the Master Options dialog box.
And this is going to be my base master page. So I am going to give it a Prefix of B, and a Name of Base, and click OK. And then I'll add the two text frames that I know appear on nearly every page type I have, the footer on the left and right pages containing the page numbers. So I'll get my Type tool, and I'll click and drag out of text frame. And now to get my automatic page numbering, I'll right-click, and choose Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number, and then I will go to my Paragraph styles panel and use one of those paragraphs styles that I loaded in with the snippet.
I'll choose Folio, so that changes the typeface and also aligns it away from the spine. Next I need to position this vertically on the page in the right location I was given in my specifications, and that was that the baseline of the page numbers needs to be half an inch up from the bottom trim. So I will switch over to my Selection tool, and I'll double-click on the center control handle to bring that up right to the baseline of the text, and I'll zoom in on that, and I can see the baseline is at the bottom of text frame. Then I am going to hold the shift key and drag straight down, so the frame sits right at the bottom of the page.
Now to move it up a half an inch, I will go to the Control panel, and in the Y values, I will just subtract half an inch, -.5in, and press return. I will press Command or Ctrl + 0 to zoom back out, and now we want to create the page number on the left side, so to do that I will Option or Alt + Drag over to create a copy of this frame, and I can hold the shift key to constrain it vertically. Notice the Smart Guide appears to show that I am in alignment with the text column.
Now I have my page numbers for my left and right page, and this is my base master. I can use this as the basis for other master pages so that the time comes when I need to make changes in these most common most basic elements, I can make them here, and they will be reflected elsewhere and as many pages as possible. Now I will make the most common page type I have, which is the page holding body text. I will go back to the Pages panel and I will hold down Command + Option or Ctrl + Alt, and click on the New Page icon to bring up the New Master dialog box.
I will give this one a Prefix of BT and name it BodyText, and this is going to be based on the base master. So because I based it on the base master, it inherits those margins and the page numbers. Now I need to add the running header elements. So on the right side I need the book title and on the left side I need my chapter titles. So again, I will press the T key to get my Type tool. I will Click + Drag out to draw a text frame and on the right side I just need the book title.
So I am just going to type it, The Complete Book of Cheese. And I will go to my Paragraph styles panel and select the Header paragraph style that I loaded in with the snippet. And to position this vertically, I will go back to my Selection tool. I will double-click on that center control handle, so the baseline of the text sits right at the bottom of the text frame, and then I'll Shift + Drag + Up to constrain this right to the top of the page. Now the alignment of paragraph changes, because it's off the page now, but don't worry about that we'll fix that in one second.
We just need to move this down a half an inch now. So again, we will go to the Control panel, and this time we will add half an inch to the Y value, .5in, and press return, and there is my right-side running header. Now to make the left-side running header, I will select this frame and Option or Alt + Drag over, we'll shift to constrain it vertically and use my Smart Guide to position it inline with the text column. Now for this side, I don't want the book title again. I want a chapter title. So I'm going to select the book title and delete it, and I am going to insert a text variable that's going to pick up the chapter title for each chapter and put it in this text frame.
So to insert that text variable I will choose Type > Text Variables > Insert Variable > ChapterTitle. Now I want to make a master spread for the chapter opener design, and in this book each chapter begins with a large photo on the left and the text frame on the right page that begins lower down on the page than the rest of the chapter. So I will go back to the Pages panel, and again, Command + Option or Ctrl + Alt + Click on the New Page icon, and this one is going to have a Prefix of CO, and we will name it ChapterOpener, and this is going to be based on the base master page and click OK.
Now on the left side I know I am only going to have that full page photo. I don't want this page number down here; in fact, I know I am not going to want anything else, but that photo. So I am going to change which master this left side is based on. I'm going to drag down the None master and drop it on top of the left-hand page. So now this is based on none, and won't inherit anything from the base master page. On the right side, I know I want this top margin to increase a little bit. So I am going to click on the right side and go over to Layout > Margins and Columns, and increase the Top margin and my specification is 9 picas and click OK.
Now back on the left side, I want to add a frame for those ChapterOpener photos. So I'll click on my Rectangle Frame tool and start at the top left bleed and drag all the way down to the bottom bleed, right at the spine. And since this is art, I want to be on my art layer. So I will go over to my layers panel, and I will drag the little square down to the Art layer. I'd also like to give this a little Fill Color, just to remind me that it's there. So I will go to the Swatches panel. I will target the Fill and select Black and just a light tint, say 20%.
So this is the basic, if you can pardon the pun, idea creating base master pages and then building up variations on them to represent each page type in the book design. Next, we'll take a closer look at the layers in our template.
- Using text variables
- Creating templates for InDesign, InCopy, and Word
- Employing nested styles
- Creating GREP styles
- Managing color with swatches
- Building page elements with libraries and snippets
- Performing GREP find/changes
- Using InCopy workflows
- Tracking changes
- Adding footnotes and indexes
- Using InDesign book files
- Versioning documents with conditional text or object styles
- Preflighting documents
- Archiving a project
- Finding and installing useful scripts and plug-ins for frequent challenges