Quick Tip:
Master Pages – A Shortcut to Consistency, Productivity, and Profit

At the AWAI Graphic Design Bootcamp, master designer Roger C. Parker (www.rcpmarketing.info) told us, "The ability to work with Master Pages is one of the indications a designer has moved beyond the basics and is preparing for increasingly challenging – and lucrative – assignments!"

He explained that all of today's page-layout programs use Master Pages, which enhance document consistency and give complete control in customizing page layouts for specific purposes.

And he made these points:

  • Master Pages contribute to consistency by letting you place text and graphic elements – like a nameplate, photograph, or similar components – on a background layer where they're unlikely to be accidentally moved or deleted. Master Pages guarantee that major text and graphic elements which define the look of your publication remain the same from issue to issue.
  • You can also create Master Pages for specific types of pages. For example, in an e-book, you could define separate layouts for the cover, the table of contents, glossary, and separate left- and right-hand pages.
  • By using Master Pages, you maintain consistency and quality, while adding visual interest to your publication. Without them, subtle issue-to-issue changes creep in, undermining your design integrity.

Roger concluded by saying: "Master Pages are worth the time you put into learning how to efficiently put them to work!"

[Ed. Note: In InDesign, create and assign Master Pages under the pages palette (Window> Pages). In PageMaker, switch on the Master Page palette by going to Window>show Master Pages.

In Microsoft Publisher, go to Format > Apply Master Page. Once you've created a Master Page, assign it to pages you select. You can define more than one Master Page depending on your document's requirements.

We recommend using a good resource book like the Visual Quickstart Guides to learn more about Master Pages.]

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: November 11, 2005

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