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  Working With Master Pages In QuarkXPress™
postit.gif   Note: Please see the Technical Manual Tutorial for step-by-step instructions on setting up and using master pages in the context where they are best understood.

Using master pages in QuarkXPress documents can save a tremendous amount of time and will ensure that your layouts have a consistent, uniform appearance. There are a few points to bear in mind when using them.

The first concept to grasp is that there are master pages and document pages in a QuarkXPress document - two completely separate things. If you ever do a "Find / Change" you must remember to do it twice - once for the document and once for the masters. That includes fonts, images and text. You must do separate "Find / Change" operations for the document and the masters.

A QuarkXPress document can have multiple master pages. A master page is built and edited the same as a document page. They are saved with the document and reside in a different "area". Please click here for more. Every document uses a default master page. If you discover after laying out a document page that you could have made a master page instead, you can still copy the objects from an existing page and paste them into a master page and continue from there.

Master pages are ideal for headers, footers, text blocks for linked text chains, column guides and non-printing page guides for objects to snap to. Once you have created a master page, you apply it to a document page and place page objects on it:


When you apply a master page to your document, Quark places the master page underneath the document page objects. Quark™ allows the commingling of master page objects and document page objects in the stacking order. This becomes important if you reapply a master page to a document page because if you do, the stacking order will revert like the diagram below:


You may design a document and place some or all of your page objects under the master page objects. Very often you will do this because text and images will oftentimes have opaque backgrounds and they need to be sent to back so the master page objects will be visible:


Your finished composition is a combination of master page objects and document page objects:


You need to be mindful of the stacking order if you either:

a.) Apply a new master page, or
b.) Repaginate your document.

When you insert or delete pages, they may reflow and cause a cascade of master page changes to your document. This becomes tricky when working with documents with facing pages. Generally, you need to insert or remove them two at a time in contiguous blocks and/or create page sections in your document which will prevent even and odd numbered pages from getting switched around (more here). If Quark™ detects that a page's position changes from left to right or vice versa, it will apply the appropriate master to accommodate the new pagination.

Changing Master Page Objects To Document Page Objects

One of the great features of QuarkXPress is the ability to edit master page objects while editing a document page. This makes it very easy to design headers and footers, text blocks and other page objects which have a uniform size and appearance, yet remain editable as individual page objects. This is a double-edge sword, though, because once you edit a master page item in the document, then that page inherits the item permanently.

How Do I Change The Margins???

When you first setup a QuarkXPress document you get a dialog box like the one below:


Here you can enter specifications for column guides and margins as well as the page size and orientation. Once you setup the document, you never see this dialog again. Instead, you access and make changes to the document and masters using two separate dialogs.

Note: The reason for this is that Quark allows multiple master pages and each master has its own specifications for margins and column guides. There is only one dialog for the document, but there may be several for the masters.

If you want to change the page size and orientation, you must first display a document page by clicking Page > Display > Document. Next click File > Document Setup. That gives you the dialog below left. If you want to change the margins and column guides, you must first display a master page by clicking Page > Display > [Master Page Name]. Next click Page > Master Guides... to get the dialog shown below right.

quarkmst05.gif techdoc008.gif

Again, I urge you to look at the Technical Manual Tutorial especially if you are new to QuarkXPress. These concepts are most easlily grasped when they are viewed in the context which best describes them.

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