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Targeting versus Selecting Pages

InDesign makes a distinction between targeting a page or spread and selecting a page or spread:

  • A page (or spread) is targeted if it is the page onto which the next new objects will be placed, such as objects pasted into a document.
  • A page (or spread) is selected if the next page action—like duplicating the spread—will affect that page or spread. The target page and the selected page can be different pages.

You may wonder why this distinction is useful: if you’re looking at your document at a lower magnification (a birds-eye view, showing more than one page at a time), you may still want to place an object onto a certain page or spread. By targeting a spread, you can be certain as to where objects will be placed.

Targeting a Page or Spread

By default, the target spread is the spread that’s centered in the document window, but you may want another spread to be targeted. Before performing an action that depends on the targeted spread, double-check which page or spread is actually targeted by finding the highlighted page numbers in the Pages palette—note that the page numbers can be highlighted without the page icons being highlighted. Target a page by clicking on any element on a page or clicking on the page or pasteboard within the document window. You can also target a spread by double- clicking the page numbers under the spread’s page icons in the Pages palette (this centers that spread in the window).

Selecting a Page or Spread

You can select pages or spreads in the Pages palette to identify which pages will be affected by page-editing commands. Clicking once on a page icon in the Pages palette selects a page. Once a page or spread is selected you can use a command such as Margins and Columns on the Layout menu to edit the margins and number of columns on the selected page or spread.

You can select multiple pages or spreads by holding down the Shift key while selecting contiguous pages, or by holding down the Command/Ctrl key if they are discontiguous. Double-clicking on the page number beneath a page or spread will both target and select the page or spread.

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