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Chapter 4. Building a Document > Master Pages and Document Pages

Master Pages and Document Pages

There is a subtle but certain link between your master pages and document pages that goes beyond one mirroring the other. Because QuarkXPress lets you change master-page items (also known simply as “master items”) on your document pages (unlike PageMaker), you have extra power; but with that power comes—what else?—responsibility. The responsibility to pay attention to what you're doing. Here's why.

Changing Master-Page Items

After you have created a master page and applied it to a document page, you can manipulate the master-page items in either master-page or document view. Which view you're in when you make a change determines what effect the change has on your document.

Changes to master items on master pages

If you are in master-page view when you make a change to a master-page item, the change is reflected on every page in your document that is based on that master page—unless you've already gone and changed that item on particular document pages (see Figure 4-14).

Figure 4-14. Master Page changes

For example, let's say you have a running head that contains the name of the document and the page number. You have created a 30-page document with this master page, so each page has that running head on it. If you change the running head because the document's title has changed, that change shows up on all 30 pages. The same thing happens if you change the typeface of the running head, or anything else about the master page.

In fact, if you deleted the running head's text box from the master page, it would be deleted from every document page based on that master page, too.

Changes to master items on document pages

However, if you change the running head on page 10 while you're in document view, and then rework the running head on the master page, the running head on every page except page 10 is changed. Page 10 remains unchanged because local page changes override the master-page change for that text box.

As long as no local page changes are made, if you delete the running head from the master page, the running head is deleted from every page of the document. But if a change has already been made locally to the running head on page 10, like in this example, then that running head on page 10 is not deleted. Even if you delete the whole master page, the text boxes that appear on document pages are deleted except for the one on page 10, which has been locally modified.

This keep-local-changes approach makes sense if you think about it, but it's often frustrating. For instance, if you forget that something is a master-page item and you change it even just a little, QuarkXPress notices and breaks the link between it and the master page. That's one reason why it's important to be clear on what's a master-page item and what's not. Note that if you change a master-page item on a document page (such as that running head in the earlier example) and then you change it back to exactly the way it was, QuarkXPress forgives and forgets that you ever changed it in the first place.

Content links and item links

Okay, let's take this one step further. It turns out that when it comes to master-page items, there reak: content links and item links. Let's say you have a text box with the word “Moose” in it on your master page. If you change the text on a document page, you break the content link. If you move the box (or change its size), you break the item link.

For instance, after changing the word “Moose” to “Elk” on page 23, let's say you go back to the master page and change “Moose” to “Bison” and change the size of the text box. Now, on every page but 23 the word gets updated to “Bison”—on page 23, the content link was broken, so it remains “Elk.” But on every page, even page 23, the text-box size gets changed. It gets changed on page 23 because changing the text in a text box breaks the content link but not the item link, so changes to the item (the text box) itself are reflected (see Figure 4-15).

Figure 4-15. Item and Content links between master pages and document pages

Okay, now let's say you change the color of the text box on page 19. Changing the background color breaks the item link (because you've affected the box itself), but not the content link. So if you move the box or change its size on the master page, it moves or resizes on all the pages except page 19.

Note that if you delete an item on the master page, it will only be deleted from the document page if you have broken neither item nor content links. If this is totally confusing to you, don't worry; it's one of those things that you just have to try before you really understand.

Applying Master Pages to Document Pages

It's easy to assign a new master page to a document page (however, because you use the Document Layout palette to do it, I'm going to hold off discussing this until the next section, “Master Pages and the Document Layout Palette”). You can also reassign a master page to a document page—which is like stripping the master page off, and then applying it again. When you perform either of these tasks, master items from the current master page are generally deleted and replaced by the new master items. However, the one exception is when you have already locally modified a master item while you're on a document page.

One of two things can happen when you assign a master page to a document page that has locally edited master items, and the determining factor is the Master Page Items feature in the Document Preferences dialog box (Command-Y). You have two choices: Delete Changes and Keep Changes.

Delete Changes

If Master Page Items is set to Delete Changes, when you reapply a master page to a document page, every master item on a page is deleted and replaced with new master items—even if changes have been made locally. This is a great way to “reset” the page if you have accidentally made changes to master items: reapply a master page to a document page while Delete Changes is set in the General Preferences dialog box. All the locally modified items are deleted and reset back to the original master items.

Keep Changes

The alternative to deleting locally modified master items is keeping them. When Keep Changes is selected in the General Preferences dialog box, QuarkXPress skips over any master items that you have modified (changed their position, size, shape, font, text, and so on). This is the default setting when you start a document.

Note that the Delete Changes and Keep Changes preferences have no effect if you simply edit a master-page item—only when you apply or reapply a master page to a document page. (I discussed editing master-page items in the last section.)


When Are Master Pages Reapplied? One of the most frustrating occurrences to both beginning and experienced QuarkXPress users is the seemingly random way QuarkXPress automatically reapplies master pages to your document pages. However, there's really nothing random about it. Simply put, QuarkXPress automatically reapplies a master page every time a page switches sides in a facing-pages layout.

If you add one page before page four, then page four becomes page five, flipping from a left to a right page in the spread. In this case, QuarkXPress automatically reapplies the master page. The result can be chaos in your document, depending on what changes you've made to the master-page items. If you add two pages before page four, then QuarkXPress won't automatically reapply the master page at all. This is the main reason that I always try to add or delete pages in even increments when I'm working with facing pages.

Summing It Up

And that's really all there is to how the master-page feature works. It's simple and ingenious, and any advanced things that you do with it are based on these operational principles.

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