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Steven Hiatt
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Pages don't reflect changes in their master page

Jul 2, 2013 1:49 PM

Tags: # y=false#

I'm using InDesign CS5.5 (v. 7.5.3) with Mac OSX 10.8.4. I found one old question about this problem in another forum (with no submitted answer):


Assume you have a simple document with one master which simply features a text frame. Well, now if you add some inset spacing to the text frame on the master, this is immediately reflected on the pages to which the master had been applied. However, if you edit the master again and set the inset spacing back to zero, the text frames on the pages to which the master had already been applied keep the inset spacing. If one adds new pages, the text frames have no inset spacing, as I would expect. Can someone tell me why InDesign behaves this way... i.e., why are the changes to the master not reflected on the assigned pages when I set the inset spacing back to zero.


This question was asked re CS 2.0. The problem seems to remain in CS 5.5.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to Steven Hiatt

    Where are you making the changes?


    If you make the change on the master page it should reflect.


    If you make the change on the normal pages, then it won't reflect. And if you reset the text frame in the Master it won't reflect in the pages.


    You're better off using an Object Style.



    To type in a text frame one needs to unlock it from the master to make that change.


    If you make an inset change in that frame then it's permanetly unlocked for this setting.



    Object Styles would be better for this.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 2:43 PM   in reply to Steven Hiatt

    If you want to make changes to an object property you should not change the master page but the used object style (and use also object styles).

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 3:43 PM   in reply to Steven Hiatt

    There is no bug! The frame is an object. The inset is an object property. It has nothing to do with the fact that the object is on the master page. If you change a property of an object or of a text on the master it will be reflected on the pages only if they have not been overwritten on the pages. When you use the frame on a page then it is also overwritten. The link is at least partially broken.


    That is why it is always a good idea to work with styles, this is the only way to make global changes to a document.

    Your answer reflects only that you are not common with the concept of styles. If you change properties of any element of the master it will only apply to the pages if this property is linked to the object on the master.


    What I don't understand why it is difficult for many to use styles? It is worthy timesaving work.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 4:15 PM   in reply to Steven Hiatt

    More in applying than unapplying.


    Other example:

    When you have a text on the master, some people use placeholder text. When they override it on the page with other text, they are expecting when they change th formatting of the placeholder text on the master should be reflected on the page too.

    But this is wrong. If content is overridden, the formatting is it too. That is why it is important to use styles—here in this example paragraph styles, in your case object styles—to force global changes in the whole document.


    I know, the other way to think comes from a vey different workflow in Quark Xpress. But this is not applicable in InDesign.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 5:05 PM   in reply to Steven Hiatt

    Steven Hiatt wrote:


    so if I had (in this case mistakenly) applied a 5p0 text frame inset as a feature of an object style (in this case, a chapter opener page), I could correct the problem by unapplying the object style. Do I have that correct?

    No. You leave the style applied and change the inset in the style definition dialog.

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