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Chapter 4. Building a Document > Master Pages and the Document Layout Palette

Master Pages and the Document Layout Palette

If you've gotten this far, you've learned the hardest stuff about QuarkXPress's master pages. Now it's time to take the next step and learn another level of control by using the following additional controls.

  • Creating new master pages

  • Creating new master pages based on existing ones

  • Naming and ordering master pages

  • Applying master pages to document pages

  • Deleting master pages

There are many ways to use multiple master pages. For example, most books are separated into several sections, including front matter, body text, and index. Each section is paginated and formatted differently from the body, with different (or no) headers or footers. You can create a master page for each of these sections. Multiple master pages are almost required for magazine production, where you may have a plethora of different sections: front matter, regular article pages, photo features, full-page ads, and small-ad sections, to name a few.

Multiple master pages are accessible through the Document Layout palette. I introduced the Document Layout palette in Chapter 2, QuarkXPress Basics. Now I'm going to concentrate on how you can use it to work with your master pages.

Document Layout Palette

If you look at the Document Layout palette for the facing-page document in Figure 4-16, you'll see that it's divided vertically into four areas: creation and deletion, master page, document layout, and page number/section.

Figure 4-16. Document Layout palettes for a single-sided and a facing-pages document

Creation and deletion area

At the top of the Document Layout palette is the creation and deletion area, which is used for creating, duplicating, and deleting both document and master pages. At the left, you see blank single-sided and facing-page icons (you can't edit these; they're always blank). Next to those icons are two buttons: one to duplicate master pages and the other to delete master or document pages.

There are two ways to create a new master page. First, you can drag a blank single-sided or facing-page icon into the master-page area (see Figure 4-17). Second, you can select a master page on the Document Layout palette and click the Duplicate button. There's only one way to delete a master page: select the master-page icon on the palette and click the Delete button (this also works for deleting document pages).

Figure 4-17. Creating a new master page

Note that deleting either a master or document page with the Delete button is not reversible with Undo (Command-Z), so you should make sure you really want to do it.


Avoiding Alerts. I don't know about you, but I often spout spontaneous invective when my computer alerts me to a dangerous procedure. Because I've used the program for so long, I know that what I'm doing can't be undone or is potentially lethal to my document. One example is the “Are you sure you want to delete these pages?” prompt when you click the Delete button in the Document Layout palette. QuarkXPress is trying to be helpful, because you can't reverse this action. But it typically just annoys me. However, if you Option-click the Delete button, the pages are deleted without a prompt. Hoorah for progress.


Retrieving Document-Layout Deletions. If you've deleted a master page from the Document Layout palette, the only way to get it back is by selecting Revert to Saved from the File menu. This, of course, only works if you've saved your document recently. Bear in mind that this method wipes out all changes you've made since your last save, so pause a moment and reflect before you jump into this last resort. (You can also revert to your last minisave—if you had Auto Save turned on in Application Preferences—by holding down Option and selecting the Revert to Saved menu item.)

You can also create document pages in this palette by dragging either one of the blank-page icons to the document area. (Of course, if your document is single-sided, the blank facing-pages icon will be grayed out…you can't add a facing page to a single-sided document.)


Where Is the Page Added? Where you let go of the mouse button when you insert a page by dragging it into the Document area of the Document Layout palette determines where the page goes. If you drop the page when the cursor appears as a gray outline of a page, you're saying “Drop the page right here.” This is how you can make a multipage spread (see “Multipage Spreads,” later in this chapter).

On the other hand, if you let go of the mouse button when the cursor appears as a little black arrow, you're saying “Put the page here in the regular flow of the document.” You get this black arrow cursor when you drag close to a page, but not on top of it.

Master-page area

Just below the blank-document icons and the Delete and Duplicate buttons is the master-page area. Here's where you create, name, and access master pages. To create a new master page, as I said earlier, you can drag a blank-page icon into this area or select a master-page icon that's already in this area and click the Duplicate button. Duplicating another master page is the fastest way to make one master page that's based on another.

A default name is assigned to a master page when it's created: the first is “A-Master A,” the second is “B-Master B,” and so on. You can assign a new name to a master page by clicking on its name in the Document Layout palette (in Windows, you must double-click on the name). You can type up to three characters before a hyphen, and then up to 60 more. If you don't type a hyphen, XPress assigns a prefix and types a hyphen for you. The name you assign is the name that appears on menus throughout the program. The prefix (the characters before the hyphen) shows up in the page icons on the Document Layout palette.

If you create more master pages than you can see at once, you can drag on the divider bar between the master-page area and the document-layout area (like the split-window feature in Microsoft Word).

If you have more than two master pages, XPress lets you move them around by dragging their icons up and down. However, be careful: Dropping one master page on top of another tells XPress to make the second master page exactly like the first, wiping out the master-page items on that page in the process. (Fortunately, XPress alerts you first.) Instead, wait until you see the cursor change to a small black arrow; that means “Move the master page here.”

Document-layout area

The largest part of the Document Layout palette is the document-layout area. This area shows icons of the document's pages, numbered and positioned in the order of their actual appearance in the document (see “Manipulating Your Document” in Chapter 2, QuarkXPress Basics, for more on the document-layout area ). Each page icon on the palette displays the master page it's based on. When you first open a new document, only one page is visible, and it is based on “A-Master A.”

Remember that you can jump to a page in your document by double-clicking on its icon in this area.

Page-number area

In the lower-left corner of the Document Layout palette sits the page-number area. When no pages are selected on the Document Layout palette, this area displays the total number of pages in the document, but when you click on a page in the document-layout area, this area shows the page number (the page number of the currently selected page, not necessarily the one that you're looking at in the document window). This page number is the same as the number that sits under the page icon in the document-layout area of the palette. If you select more than one page on the palette, this area just shows you whatever the first page you selected was. Not very helpful, and pretty boring (see “Tip: Of Sections and Page Numbers,” later in this chapter).

Applying Master Pages

There are two ways to apply the formatting of a master page to an existing document page (I sometimes refer to this as “tagging a document page with a master page”).

  • You can drag a master-page icon on top of a document-page icon; it's OK to release the mouse button as soon as the page icon is highlighted. The document page assumes the formatting of that master page.

  • You can select the page or pages to which you want to apply the master page (remember that you can Shift-click to select a range of pages, or Command-click to select individual pages out of sequential order) and Option-click on the desired master page in the master-page area. This is the only way to apply a master page to a number of pages at the same time.

Unmodified master items (from the old master page) are deleted and replaced with the new master items. Items that you have modified may or may not be deleted (see “Applying Master Pages to Document Pages,” earlier in this chapter). You can also apply one master page to another by the same method.

If you don't want any master page applied to a particular page (if you want to turn master pages off for one page), you can apply one of the blank-document icons to it instead. Just do the same thing: either drop the blank-page icon on top of a document page in the palette, or Option-click on the icon with the page(s) selected.


Copying Master Pages. Have you ever wanted to copy a master page from one document to another? Kinda difficult, isn't it? Well, no, not really. Put both documents into Thumbnail viewing mode and drag a page from the first document into the second. The master page that was assigned to that document page comes along. Then you can delete the document page, and the master page stays in the second document.

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