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Getting Started with InDesign

Instructions for the basic tools of Adobe InDesign, which you might use to create a flier, brochure or newsletter.

What is a Master Page?

A Master Page is a nonprinting page that you can use as the template for the rest of the pages in your document.  Master pages can contain text and graphic elements that will appear on all pages of a publication (i.e. headers, footers, page numbers, etc.)  By default, every InDesign document you create contains two masters, one for pages on the left and one for those on the right.  If you’re working with a single page document, you don’t need to worry about master pages.  However, if you’re creating a multi-page document such as a newsletter, book, or catalog, master pages are one of InDesign’s most powerful features.

To view the default InDesign Master Page:

  1. Make sure the Pages Panel is showing by going to the Window menu, then clicking Pages.

  2. Double-click on A-Master in the Pages Panel to display the Master Page. Remember, there is a left and a right page to the master, so be sure you are on the page you want to be.

Alternatively, you can use the navigation tool at the bottom left of the screen to choose the A-Master page.

You are now able to make global edits to your document by inserting text boxes and graphics the same way you would on the normal pages.  You can also add columns that will affect all pages related to the master.

 Here is a good tutorial on how to set up and edit your master page:

For a more detailed explanation of how the right and left master pages work, as well as how to insert page numbers using master pages, watch this tutorial:

Overriding Master Pages

On occasion, you may need to change something about the master just on one page – for example, you don’t want the page number to display on the first page of a chapter. You can do this without creating a whole new master, but rather just override the one you are currently using.

  1. In the Pages Panel right-click on the page icon for the page you want to change.

  2. From the options, choose Override All Master Page Items.

  3. You can now click on any element on the page and change or delete it.

Multiple Master Pages

You can create as many masters as you want or need – for example, you want a colored box down the left margin of just some pages; you could create a master that has this look, and then apply it to only the pages that need it.

1.     To add a new master, go to the Pages Panel, click on the far right arrow with three lines (circled at right) and choose New Master….

2.     In the subsequent dialog box, give it a name if you want and then click OK.

3.     Select the appropriate master to change by double-clicking it, and then edit it as you wish.

4.     To ap

ply it to a page, drag the master icon onto the page icon in the Pages Panel, or right-click on the page icon and choose Apply Master to Pages and choose the correct master for the page.