Use Master Pages and Spreads in InDesign CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Master pages are like templates used to format page layouts in InDesign Creative Suite 5. The settings, such as margins, columns, page numbering, text frames, background images, and a heading, are applied to each layout to which the master page is applied.

You can have more than one master page in a single publication, and you can choose which pages use a particular master page.

You can’t edit the items you have on a master page on the pages assigned to it — you can edit those items only on the master page.

Create a master page or spread

  • To create a new master page: Choose New Master from the Pages panel’s menu and then click OK. A blank master page is created and you can begin adding formatting.

  • To create a master page using a page in the publication: Drag the page from the pages section of the panel into the master page section of the Pages panel. The document page turns into a master page incorporating that page’s formatting.

If the page you’re trying to drag into the master pages section is part of a spread, select both pages in the spread before you drag it into the master pages section.

You can create additional master pages or spreads for a document, if you have another series of pages that need a unique format.

Apply, remove, and delete master pages

After you create a master page, you can apply it to a page. You can also remove a page from a master page layout and delete a master page altogether:

  • To add master page formatting to a page or spread: In the Pages panel, drag the master page you want to apply from the master page section onto the page you want to format in the document pages section. When you drag the master page onto the page, it has a thick outline around it. Release the mouse button when you see this outline, and the formatting is applied.

  • To remove any master page applied to a document page: In the Pages panel, drag the None page from the master area in the Pages panel to that document page. You may need to use the scroll bar in the master pages area of the Pages panel to find the None page.

  • To delete a master page: In the Pages panel, select the unwanted master page and then choose Delete Master Spread from the panel menu.

This action permanently deletes the master page — you can’t get it back — so think carefully before deleting a master page.

Change individual page sizes

Using the Pages panel, you can change the size of individual pages in a document, which is useful if you have one page that folds out and is larger than others. Or, maybe you want to create a single document that includes a business card, an envelope, and a letterhead.

To change the size of individual pages using the Pages panel, follow these steps:

  1. In the Pages panel, click to select the page you want to modify.

  2. Click the Edit Page Size button at the bottom of the Pages panel and select the new size.

  3. Repeat the process to adjust the size for any pages you want to modify.

    When you’re done editing the size of the pages, continue to work on their design and layout like you would work on any other pages. The only difference is that some pages in your document may be a different size.