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Master Pages and text autoflow/frames question

Apr 1, 2011 12:51 PM

I've been looking for a tutorial or something but can't find any.

 

I have set up master pages - a left and right version. They both have offset margins for binding purposes (opposite each other obviously).

So my issue is when I auto flow the text into a left facing page and then replace alternating pages with right facing master, the text frames in which I autoflowed stay in their left page spread orientation. I fully don't understand how text and master pages work. Any ideas? It works great for simple page spreads but once I start moving stuff around it causes headaches. I thought master pages would move the text frames on all pages where they are applied. This also sometimes happens when I change a page from 1 master page to another. Sometimes get doubled up text etc.

Any help or point me in the right direction of a tutorial?

 

Thanks, Matt

 
Replies
  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    Apr 1, 2011 6:51 PM   in reply to bingandham

    In File > Document Setup, is Facing Pages checked?

     
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    Apr 1, 2011 7:43 PM   in reply to bingandham

    You say you "have set up master pages - a left and right version." Unless you are using Facing Pages, InDesign will not associate your Master Pages as left and right pages, or fronts and backs. Everything is treated as single pages.

     

    If you did select Facing Pages and the master pages you refer to are side by side in the Pages Panel (note that if the file was set up as not using Facing Pages, simply checking Facing Pages won't change individual masters to a spread), the second thing you must do is to link the text frames.

     
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    Apr 2, 2011 4:48 AM   in reply to bingandham

    Did you actually use master text frames for the flow? If not, you probably need to turn on Layout Adjustment to get the text frames to move with the margins.

     

    It's possible to THINK you used master text frames without actually doing so, even when the master frames are present. Master frames work with autoflow only if you haven't overridden the first frame into which you start the flow. In other words, it you override a master frame, then use autoflow to place text into the frame and add pages, ID will not use the master frames on succeeding pages, but will create brand new frames that fill the margin/columns guides.

     

    It's also possible to think you are using a master frame that hasn't been overridden and end up creating an new set of threaded frames. This occurs if you click the loaded text cursor on a guide instead of in the open area of the frame. To know whether the text will go into the existing frame or make a new one, you should watch the cursor. If it changes to be surrounded by parentheses it is using the existing frame. A hard corner symbol means a new frame will be drawn.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 12:54 AM   in reply to bingandham

    Master text frames are problematic for a couple of reasons.

     

    They do not reflect unless you have layout adjustment turned on, and even themn, only if they are snapped to the margins.

     

    Even if they do reflect (using layout adjustment), you end up with doubled up frames because there's one on the master and the other overridden one.

     

    The only effective way to use master text frames is to remove them from the master page once the text is flowed through them, or to use AutoFlow Pro. The PDF manual for AF Pro (http://in-tools.com/downloads/docs/AutoFlowPro.pdf) has a longer explanation of what happens when page sides or master pages change.

     

    HTH,

    Harbs

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 9:06 AM   in reply to Harbs.

    Harbs,

     

    You say problematic for a couple of reasons, but only give one reason that doesn't seem to hold if I understand what you mean by reflect.

     

    I don't see the relevance to layout adjustment and reflecting an object, whether its a master text frame or not. Neither do master text frames need be snapped to the margins before they can be reflected, and reflected frames do not end up doubled up. Perhaps you can clarify.

     

    To say the only effective way to use master text frames is to remove them from the master page once the text is flowed through them, is to say to not use them at all and lose all of the advantages of having them as master elements. But master text frames can be useful in many cases.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 11:30 AM   in reply to M Blackburn

    Hi Marc,

     

    Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. It's kind of hard to explain the behavior.

     

    The only situations where master page items "reflect" are when they remain on the master page and are not overridden. When master frames are overridden what really happens is that InDesign creates a new text frame on the local page and retains a link to the master page item, and applies any non-overridden changes made to the master item to the local one.

     

    Some more detail:

    When you have a two-page spread, the page items on each side are totally separate items. Each page shows a "window" to the master spread and reveals the master page items on the corresponding master page. An important point to remember is that the entire spread is applied to each page individually but only the window of the page (i.e. recto) is visible. If master items are not overridden, that window shifts and the recto items become hidden while the verso items come into view.

     

    As soon as an item is overridden (such as flowing text into a text frame), the story changes somewhat. While the view shifts to the verso page, the overridden recto items still remain where they were (after all they are new items which InDesign created on the local page, and InDesign is not going to delete them without your say-so). So you get the appearance of doubled up frames. Now, if the page shifts back to recto, the verso item shifts out of view (as long as it was not overridden), and you are left with the recto view which had the page item overridden (so you only see one item).

     

    The behavior is very logical, but not very useful in the real world (especially when the text frames have a visible property to them).

     

    To make matters worse, when you apply a new master page, overridden items are completely detached from the master. This is true even if you apply the same master a second time! In this situation you are basically guaranteed to get doubled frames. This is the source for a lot of confusion...

     

    What I did in AF Pro was I return the overridden master frames to the master page and reflow text (and images) into the corresponding master items. This works across spreads as well as across different master pages. When set up correctly, you never get doubled or detached frames unless you do it yourself...

     

    I hope this is a little clearer...

     

    Harbs

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 12:46 PM   in reply to Harbs.

    What you describe relates to the behaviour of master pages and master items in general, not text frames specifically. Yes, some of the relationships can get confusing, especially if masters are reapplied to pages that have overridden and/or detached items. But it isn't particularly good practise to be re-applying master pages like that, and yes, if you start doing stuff like that with linked text frames you're setting yourself up for a world of confusion. Perhaps you could describe a situation where reapplying master pages is necessary. (I know I've done it, but I can't say why or that it was a wise thing to do.)

     

    I suspect you aren't using reflect to mean using the reflect tool. So I'm not sure I get your point. When an object is placed on a master page, it must be overridden before it can be edited in any way. Text frames created by flowing copy into a document using master frames are overridden automatically by default. This has to be the case or editing the copy would not be possible (not to mention it would be impossible to flow in multiple pages of text from a single pair of master text frames). But I don't know where you're getting the doubled up frames. Nor do I understand the importance you attach to the fact that master spreads are applied one page at a time.

     

    And I still wondering how layout adjustment and master text frames not being snapped to margins comes into play.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 1:04 PM   in reply to M Blackburn

    Yes. I think there's a confusion of terms.

     

    By "reflect", I mean the objects take a spine-relative position when page side changes(which was the OP's issue). You are correct that I was not refering to flipping (mirroring) a frame.

     

    When page sides change, the fact that an object started on a master page does not help in any way to ensure that the object retains a spine-relative position. That's the issue I am talking about...

     

    To understand what I'm saying, do the following:

     

    1) Create a spine relative layout on your two-page master spread. (i.e. a frame near the outside of each page). Give the frames a stroke to make it more obvious.

    2) Override the frame on page 1

    3) add a page before page 1

    4) You will now see two frames on page 2.

    5) add another page to the beginning of your document. You will now see only one (overridden) frame on page 3.

    6) Reapply the (same) master page to page 3 and you will now see two frames.

     

    The reason step 5 and step 6 is different is because the frame in step 4 is only overridden from the (not visible) recto page, rather than being detached as what happens when you reappply the master page in step 6.

     

    This problem applies to both text frames as well as graphic frames. With text frames the problem is just more common...

     

    Harbs

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 1:06 PM   in reply to M Blackburn

    M Blackburn wrote:

     

    And I still wondering how layout adjustment and master text frames not being snapped to margins comes into play.

    If the frames are snapped to margins, they will move to the corresponding position when the sides change (both for master and non-master frames). So even when you have master frames that are doubled, it's not usually so apparent, because they are positioned directly on top of each other...

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 1:48 PM   in reply to Harbs.

    Okay. Now I see what you're complaining about.

     

    1) I was doing my tests with such a layout

     

    2) There is no need to override any frames, the frames are automatically

    overridden as soon as text is flowed into the document. Following your

    procedure before flowing in the text would require that the master frame be

    overriden, but only because otherwise the effect will not be apparent.

     

    3) Now comes the real problem. Adding a single page causes all recto/verso

    relationships to change but the position of the text frames remain relative

    to the page rather than the spine. As I said, reapplying the master won't

    double up the frames (in CS5. Was it different in CS3 because I was

    expecting them to double up?) -- but -- neither will it cause the text

    frames to go to the proper side of the page and I don't see any way to fix

    this other than manually moving the frames.

     

    Nonetheless, I still don't see this a a reason not to use master frames. The

    very same problem would arise without them. It's just more a case that it

    shows a failing of master frames to be able to think out of the box.

     

    Neither would I say the problem is more common with text frames, I would say

    the problem is inherent with text frames because text frames must always be

    overridden if they contain any kind of text thread. Master text frames that

    are not overridden are nothing more than text graphics.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 2:05 PM   in reply to M Blackburn

    2) Yes. Of course. Flowing text in is the same as overriding text frames.

     

    3) Yes. The frames do in fact get doubled up. I just tested in CS5 and the behavior is not improved. It might not be apparent, but as soon as you move the local frame, you will see the master frame.

     

    M Blackburn wrote:

    -- but -- neither will it cause the text

    frames to go to the proper side of the page and I don't see any way to fix

    this other than manually moving the frames.

    I have two ways. One is Reflective Objects (which "reflects" objects regardless of whether they are master page items), and the other is AutoFlow Pro which (among many other things), deals with the master page problem at the source.

     

    Nonetheless, I still don't see this a a reason not to use master frames. The

    very same problem would arise without them. It's just more a case that it

    shows a failing of master frames to be able to think out of the box.

    As far as the page reflective problem: true. But you only have the doubling problem with master page items (which becomes a serious problem if the frame has some visible attribute to it).

     

    Neither would I say the problem is more common with text frames, I would say

    the problem is inherent with text frames because text frames must always be

    overridden if they contain any kind of text thread. Master text frames that

    are not overridden are nothing more than text graphics.

    Now we're splitting hairs. That's what I meant...

     

    Harbs

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 2:06 PM   in reply to M Blackburn

    It doesn't matter if the frame is overridden manually or automatically by placing text (except in how things behave with autoflow and whether or not addit9onal frames will be created or the master frames will be used and overridden), once the frame is overridden, the effect is the same if you swap sides on the spread or reapply a master.

     

    The advantage to NOT using master frames in this case is there cannot be a replaced master freame if none ever existed. Most times you'd never notice the replaced frame, but once in a while it becomes a problem if it's there.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 3:05 PM   in reply to Harbs.

     

    The frames do in fact get doubled up.

     

    I think we have different understandings of double-up. Yes, I can see the

    position of the master frame on the page, but no second frame manifests on

    the page by re-applying the master.

     

    Sure, if the master frame were stroked or whatever, it would print and the

    side-to-side shift we are talking about would be evident. This is just

    standard behaviour for any master items. On the other hand, if the master

    frame carries no formatting, it can be ignored.

     

    There are limitations to what you can expect from master text frames. For

    instance, you can't flow text into a document that intermixes master pages.

    But I still don't see them as problematic in and of themselves. Even the

    problem of pages shifting sides recto to verso goes away if the margins are

    set up to reflect the relationship.

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 3:17 PM   in reply to M Blackburn

    M Blackburn wrote:

     

    Sure, if the master frame were stroked or whatever, it would print and the

    side-to-side shift we are talking about would be evident. This is just

    standard behaviour for any master items.

    This is standard InDesign behavior. I'm arguing that it is wrong! When you reapply a master page to a local page which has overridden master items, the master items SHOULD NOT BECOME DETACHED!!! There is no reason it has to work that way and if InDesign would be smart enough to keep those items connected to the master page, a lot of issues would be avoided.

     

    Of course it would have to be a lot smarter to support keeping master page attachments when a different master is applied but I've worked that out as well...

     

    M Blackburn wrote:


    There are limitations to what you can expect from master text frames.

    Ah! But I have very high expectations, and I've fixed every problem mentioned in this thread in AF Pro (including the one with mixing master pages)!

     

    Harbs

     
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    Apr 3, 2011 3:44 PM   in reply to Harbs.

    I'm arguing that it is wrong!

     

    I used to avoid master frames like the plague. I have misused them and given

    myself unwanted headaches. I don't know why ID's designers did what they

    did, but there's always trade offs in these things, and master text frames

    don't seem quite as evil as before.

     

     

    I've fixed every problem mentioned

     

    InDesign has a history of third party solutions. It's part of what makes it

    a good program to work in. Who knows, if your plugin is successful, perhaps

    Adobe will buy it.

     
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