Want to make your designs, faster, easier and more effective? Don’t waste hours crafting your layouts page by page. By using Master Pages, you can create consistent layouts fast.
What exactly is a Master Page?
Master Pages are non-printable pages that act like a template to create a consistent look for your document. When creating layouts in InDesign sometimes you will want to have some elements on all of the pages – like page numbers. So instead of having to insert them separately onto each page you can speed up the process by using Master Pages.
How to Create a New Master Page
Master pages are located in the Pages panel. If you don’t have the Pages Panel open, go to Window > Pages.
In this panel you can see all of the pages in your document. In the top section are the Master Pages and the bottom section are the Pages. See screenshot below.
There is only one Master Page in this document, called A-Master. If you want to know what master page has been applied, just look in the top corner of the individual page and you will see a letter. Here there is an A, as there is only one master page applied to the whole document.
To add a new Master Page click on the icon at the top-right of the panel.
In the drop down select New Master.
In the dialog box you can leave the settings as they are or edit them.
Name – here you can change the name of the master page. For example – section page, title page etc.
Based on Master – here you can copy over the properties of another master page. I find this really helpful, as I can create a complex grid in A-Master then base B-Master off A. So if I need to make any changes to the grid I only have to do it once.
Applying Master Pages
Now that you have created a new master page you need to apply it to the individual pages.
In the Pages Panel double-click on the pages you want to assign and right-click and select Apply to Master Page. If you want to apply to the whole spread (i.e page 4 & 5) be sure to hold down the shift key while selecting both pages. You may have to double-click a few times to make sure InDesign has selected the correct page.
Then under Apply Master select which Master page you want to apply.
Here you can see I have applied B-Master to pages 4 & 5.
How to Apply a Blank Page
If you don’t want to use any of the Master Pages:
- Double-click on the page you wish to change
- Right click > Apply to Master Pages
- Under Apply Master select None
Overriding Master Page Items
You can easily manually override the element on the Master Pages. On the individual page (not in the Pages panel) Master Page items will have a dotted line for a frame. Here I have added a page number to B-Master and you can see on page 4 the page number has a dotted blue line around it. To override these items:
- Hold down Cmd + Shift (mac) or Control + Shift (windows)
- Hold these keys down and click the element at the same time
- This pulls it off the Master Page and you can now edit or delete.
But How Do You Get Them Back?
- In the Pages panel double-click on the page you want to change
- Go to the top right and click on the icon
- Then select Master Pages
- Then select Remove All Local Overrides
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Want to make your designs faster, easier and more effective? There’s no need to spend hours crafting layouts page by page. By using master pages you can create consistent page layouts in Adobe InDesign fast.