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Working with FrameMakers Master Pages

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In FrameMaker 6, pages take on a unique meaning — actually three meanings, each one uniquely different from the other. In this article, you examine the unique functions of FrameMaker’s master pages and take a grand tour of how they work in documents.
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FrameMaker 6 may seem like a complicated program, but after you understand some of the logic behind it, the learning curve begins to flatten out for you. Take pages, for instance. In FrameMaker 6, pages take on a unique meaning—actually three meanings, each one distinctly different from the other.

FrameMaker contains body, master, and reference pages. Although each of these page types performs a very specific function, they work together to give you the documentation results you expect from such a robust application.

In this article, I examine the unique functions of FrameMaker's master pages, and take you on a grand tour of how they work in documents. Here are the highlights of our exploration:

  • Learning how master pages work

  • Creating, renaming, and deleting master pages

  • Modifying existing master pages

  • Working with landscape master pages

  • Using master pages

Pages with a Difference

Before I get into the details behind master pages, I review the basics of body, master, and reference pages to provide you with an understanding of the differences between these three FrameMaker page types.


Use the View menu to switch between body, master, and reference pages.

  • Body Pages — Body pages are also document pages and contain the printable content of a document. You can enter and edit document text on body pages. Body pages display background text or graphics and obtain page-layout information from corresponding master pages.
  • Master Pages — The job of a master page is to provide the page layout and any background information that you want to appear on each body (document) page. Master pages are non-printing pages.
  • Reference Pages — Reference pages are non-printing pages. They have a few important jobs in FrameMaker, such as storing frequently used graphics and other information in reference frames; defining format structure of generated document files; and maintaining mappings between paragraph tags and HTML tags.


For more information on reference frames, see my article Get Acquainted with Reference Frames in FrameMaker.

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