Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Set margin and column guides, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Man] In an earlier movie we saw that the new document dialogue box lets you set your margins and column guides. But what if you change your mind later, and the file'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 comes in. It's right here in the layout menu. But before you choose this feature, you need to tell InDesign which pages you want to affect. Right now I can see over here in the pages panel that we're looking at pages 48 to 49, but that's not the pages that are highlighted.
The ones that are highlighted are pages 44 and 45, that's a whole different spread, and because those pages are highlighted those are the ones that are going to change if I use the margins and columns feature. So you do have to be a little bit careful here. I'm going to select the numbers underneath 48 and 49 to make sure that those are selected in the pages panel. Now when you're working with guides, you want to make sure you're not in preview mode. Like now if I press the W key, I go into preview mode and I can't see any of my guides. So I'll press W again to come out of preview mode.
Okay now I'm going to go back to the layout menu and choose margins and columns. Now it's always a good idea to turn on the preview checkbox inside this dialogue box so that you can see what you're doing. Alright I'm just going to change the outside page margin, the one closest to the page edge but before I do that, I want to make sure that this icon here this little chain icon in the middle, I want to make sure that's broken, unlinked. Because if that button is turned on, if it's selected then any change I make will affect all the fields in this section of the dialogue box and I don't want that I only want to change this outside margin.
So right now I'm going to come in here and change this to say half an inch. Now InDesign only updates when I leave this field. So I'll press the tab key to jump to the next field, and you can see that because the preview checkbox is turned on, the margins move you can see that before and after by turning off and then on the checkbox. There's before and there's after. Now obviously this only changed the margin, it didn't affect the objects on the page. If I want to affect the objects on the page, then I need to turn on this checkbox down here.
Enable layout adjustment that's the on-off switch for whether my objects are going to move or not move. Here, let me show you the difference. I'm going to set the outside margin back to the way it was back to one inch here and then I'm going to turn on enable layout adjustment. Now I'll change the outside margin to half an inch again. See the difference? Once again before and after, before and after. Now you can see that some of the text frames move like this one over here but some frames, like this graphic frame and this text frame on the right-hand page, they didn't move, what's the difference? Well layout adjustment works by looking at any objects that are touching the guides that move.
It has to be touching a guide or very, very close to a guide and then it will move so in this case, the text frame on the right-hand page was not even close to a guide so it didn't change. Now I should point out that in a simple document, like a book where there's just one main frame on each page, layout adjustment works pretty well. But on more complicated layouts even something like this, sometimes weird stuff can happen. It especially gets weird when you start changing the number of columns on your page.
For example look what happens if I change this to a single column. Nothing, right? But now when I increase the number of columns again well now things get really weird. I don't know what's going on over here, but it's certainly not what I expected. Now I should be clear here changing the number of columns when the layout adjustment is turned off is totally safe. That just adds column guides it's the layout adjustment that you have to watch out for. Now in this case I'm going to go ahead and click cancel to set it back to the way it was.
Okay so we've seen how we can change the margins and columns on a single spread but what if we want to change them for all the pages at the same time? No problem there's two options. First I could select all the pages in my pages panel simply by clicking on one and then shift-clicking on the last. That selects all the spreads or even better, we could simply change the master page. In this case I'll just click once on it. I don't even need to be looking at it, I just click it once and it selects it. And now if I go to the layout menu and choose margins and columns it's going to change the margins and columns for that master page, and that in turn will affect all the pages that are based on that master.
Let's try it I'll turn on enable layout adjustment, and I'll change the bottom here to say point five inches. When I click okay you can see that the bottom margin moved down for all the pages that were based on that master page. Now remember these margins and column guides are just that, they're just guidelines for where you might put objects. You can always break the rules and ignore them when your design calls for it.
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