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Formatting Master Pages in Adobe InDesign | RSD Tutorial + Working File

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

Formatting Master Pages in Adobe InDesign | RSD Tutorial + Working File

Red Shark Digital

If you’re not familiar with Adobe Indesign it’s a great way to format layouts with large amounts of text. When you have a lot of pages that need the same layout, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to go through and set everything the same way on each spread. Fortunately, Indesign’s Master Page functions help you set universal layouts for the whole document. Follow along with this tutorial by downloading the working file as well!

Creating a New Document

This is the very basics of Indesign, but if you’ve never worked in Indesign it can be confusing! Indesigns default measurements will go by picas (p), as opposed to pixels (px) in Photoshop. An 8.5 in. x 11 in. letter size will be 51p0 by 66p0. Indesign works with spreads, so think about the amount of spreads you want when setting your page numbers. There will be a single right-hand page at the beginning and a single left-hand page at the end. So, setting it to eight pages will give us six spreads to work with.

Adding Page Numbers

Double-clicking on the Master page spread at the top will take you to the master page to edit. Make a text box where you want your numbers to be, on each side of the spread. With the type selected, go to the “Type” drop-down menu and select “Insert Special Character,” then “Markers,” and then “Current Page Number.”

Running Header & Apply Master

Similar to the Page numbers, create a text box where you want your header to be on both sides of the spread. Once it’s set, go to the pages panel and Control click the Master spread. Select “Apply Master to Pages.” In the Pop-up box, select apply master to all pages.

Override Master Format

If there’s anything you want to change about your format in the Master, you can always override it by pressing the command and shift keys and clicking the text you want to change. In this example, we’ve set our header to content that will be changing with a new chapter so it needs to be edited.

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