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What you describe there makes very little sense to me at all. Which makes me think that I'm not understanding what you're describing, or you haven't described it very well, or the most likely scenario is that you've done something really bizarre in your setup.
Can you please post some screen shots of the pages and what is happening - from the description it's quite hard to imagine what you've done.
Sorry about the verbiage!
I think my setup is bad. I inserted the book's content into the master page text frames, by pressing shift ctrl on page 1, then pasting into that frame. Is it better to create text frames just for the content? If so, how do I change the size of all the text frames at once?
I've now got my book's content flowing in text frames that are independent of text frames in the master pages. I'm not using any text frames in the master pages anymore, and i'm able to alternate how footers appear by using more masters. Thanks for making me realize my setup was way wrong. Now my main question is how to adjust the size of text frames on all pages. Is the best way to do this to find all of them using the find function, then apply an object style, then modify them all using the style? Anyway, you already answered my questioned by showing me where I went wrong. Much obliged.
I don't understand why you need to change text frame sizes all at once?
If you create margins on your master pages to where you want the text frame to be.
Draw a text frame on the Master Pages.
Then when you insert text into the main page you'll have a text frame within those margins on every page.
The reason I need to change text frame sizes all at once is that the size of the book may change, depending on how the content (which includes many graphics) fits as I lay it out; if the page size is reduced, the text frames will also have to be made smaller, for example. and i'm assuming object styles might be best for that, instead of doing what I was doing before, modifying the frames using masters (which i'm now only using for footers, headers etc.).
Object styles cannot control frame dimensions. The good news, though, is if the frames snap to guides you can enable layout adjustment BEFORE you change the page size and the frames will resize automatically.
Great tip, Peter; I will do as you suggest; that's a convenient way to do exactly what I wanted.