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Designing a Magazine Layout

In this chapter from Learn Adobe InDesign CC for Print and Digital Media Publication, explore ACA exam objectives including creating a multicolumn layout, adding master items to master pages, creating interactive PDF forms, and much more.
This chapter is from the book

In this design project, you will put together a basic layout to present to your customer. Specifically, you will provide design and text formatting ideas for the editor’s note pages, a subscription form that will be included as a foldout in the print version of the magazine, and an interactive form readers can fill out in the PDF version of the magazine. As part of this project you will be introduced to the concept of master pages, try additional paragraph formatting controls, and learn how to wrap text around images. Finally, you will gain an understanding of the various form elements used in PDF form designs (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 Finished newsletter design

Mastering a Multicolumn and Multipage Layout

  • video.jpg Video 4.1

Similar to the previous project, this project’s primary output medium will be print. The magazine content is made up of photos, headlines, body copy, background tints, line, and form elements. The magazine example in this project is folded to a finished portrait Letter size (8.5 in by 11 in). The magazine is designed with facing pages (left and right pages), and text appears in three columns. Additionally, its cover and some of its content design contains images and background color frames that extend to the edge of the page.

Given this briefing, what settings would you select in the New Document dialog box (File > New > Document)?

Here are some of the settings (Figure 4.2):

  • Intent: Print. This sets the document’s default color mode to CMYK.
  • Facing Pages: Select Facing Pages to create a document with spreads (left and right pages side by side). Notice that with facing pages enabled, the Left and Right margin fields change to Inside and Outside. The inside margin is the margin that appears on either side of the spine, where the magazine is bound. The outside margin is the margin that appears on the edge where there is no binding (Figure 4.3).
  • Number Of Pages: Magazines are multipage documents. Start with four pages and add more pages as needed during the production phase (Layout > Pages > Add Page, or Insert Pages).
  • Page Size and Orientation: Select Letter from the Page Size menu and click the Portrait icon for Orientation.
  • Columns: Enter 3 for the number of columns. With the Screen Mode set to Normal, the column guides assist with consistent and easy placement of design elements.
  • Bleed: If necessary, click the Bleed And Slug disclosure triangle. Enter values in the Bleed fields. If you’re not sure what to enter, ask the printer. As you design, make sure that any objects you intend to bleed extend off the page to the bleed guide.
Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 Creating a four-page, facing-page document with a bleed to start your magazine design

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3 Inside and outside margins on a facing-pages spread

Once the new document opens in InDesign, you can start to add layers and color swatches as needed.

Understanding Master Pages

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 2.1

Master pages apply common design elements, also called master items, across the pages of your document. This saves you the time of adding those elements to each page individually, ensures consistency, and provides an easy method for making global changes across a document.

If you have a magazine or other multipage publication nearby, flip through the pages. Can you spot common design elements or layout features? What design elements appear repeatedly across multiple pages in a report or book layout?

Page headers (the area above the top margin guide on a page) and footers (the area below the bottom margin guide) are areas on the page where you would position elements that repeat across different pages (Figure 4.4). For example:

  • Each page in a report might include a company logo at the top or bottom of the page.
  • The name of a publication might appear on the top or bottom of pages.
  • A similar-colored sidebar might indicate different topic-related pages across a publication.
  • Page numbers might appear at the bottom of magazine, book, or report pages.
  • Navigation controls, such as next page and previous page buttons, might reside at the bottom of all pages in digital media publication.
Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 A two-page spread of a magazine layout and the master page that was applied to add the red bars, header, and footer

The above are all examples of master items. You place any items you want to repeat on document pages on a master page. Then, when you apply that master page to document pages, the items are added to those document pages automatically.

Creating and Editing Master Pages

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.1
  • video.jpg Video 4.2
  • video.jpg Video 4.3

When you create a new document, a blank document opens with one or more blank pages and a single master page or master spread (A-Master). This A-Master master page is applied to all empty pages and applies the original new document settings, such as the page size, orientation, margins, columns, and bleed settings. By adding master items to the A-Master, you can add common design elements and layout features to the document’s pages.

To add master items to the A-Master, first display the master page:

  • Double-click the A-Master label at the top of the Pages panel.
  • Select A-Master from the Go To Page menu in the Status bar.
  • Choose Layout > Go To Page, and then select A-Master from the Page menu (Figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5 Display the A-Master in the document window to start adding master items to the page.

The A-Master page or spread now appears in the document window. You can now start to add common master items.

A special page number marker is often the first master item you add to a master page, especially for longer documents, such as books, reports, or magazines.

To add a current page number marker (Figure 4.6):

  1. Using the Type tool, draw a text frame on the A-Master page, in the footer area, and click inside the frame.
  2. Choose Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number.

    Figure 4.6

    Figure 4.6 Adding a current page number marker to a text frame on the master page

    The special page number marker that is inserted appears as the letter A, matching the prefix of the master page. A page number on a B-Master would thus appear as the letter B.

  3. Format the page number marker as you would format any other text, changing font, font size, alignment, etc.
  4. To return to a document page and see the page number appear, double-click a document page in the Pages panel, or choose Layout > Go To Page and select a page number from the Page menu.

To add header or footer text to a master page:

  • Use the Type tool to add a text frame, then enter and format the header or footer text on the master page. You can also insert text before or after the current page number marker (Figure 4.7).
Figure 4.7

Figure 4.7 A left-facing page that contains a text frame for the footer, which consists of text and the current page number marker

Continue to add and format additional master items to the master page as needed.

Adding Multiple Master Pages

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.1
  • video.jpg Video 4.4

Documents are not limited to a single master page or master spread. For example, in a magazine layout, you might use three-column and four-column layouts. There are several ways to add additional master pages to a document.

To create a new master page (Figure 4.8):

  1. Choose New Master from the Pages panel menu.
  2. Enter the Prefix and Name for the new master.

    The master page prefix appears on the document pages in the Pages panel, making it easy to recognize which master page is applied to the pages.

    Figure 4.8

    Figure 4.8 Adding a new master page

  3. When you are creating a master page, you have the option of basing its formatting on an existing master page. This establishes a parent-child relationship between the two pages. To do this, select the parent page from the Based on Master menu.

    Basing a new master page on another master means that the new (child) page inherits the master items from the existing (parent) master page. For example, you might consider creating a master page with just the page numbers on it. This master page could be the base for other master pages that might have different margin and column settings and design elements added. If you want to change the font of the page numbers, you only need to edit them on the parent master page.

  4. Specify how many pages you need in the Number Of Pages setting.
  5. Set the Page Size and Orientation parameters. Click OK.

You can also create a new blank master page by first selecting any master page and clicking the Create New Page button at the bottom of the Pages panel. The new master page uses the same margin and column settings as used in the New Document dialog box at the start of creating a project.

Duplicating Master Pages

You can duplicate an existing master page to serve as the basis for a new master page. To duplicate a master page (Figure 4.9):

  1. Select the master page to duplicate in the Pages panel.
  2. Select Duplicate Master Spread “A-Master” from the Pages panel menu. Note that when the selected master page is actually a facing-pages spread, the command changes from Duplicate Master Page to Duplicate Master Spread.

    Figure 4.9

    Figure 4.9 Creating a new master page by duplicating an existing master page

    An exact replica of the A-Master, a new B-Master, appears in the Pages panel.

  3. To change the Prefix (B) or the Name (Master), select the new master page in the Pages panel. Select Master Options from the Pages panel menu, make any changes, and click OK.
  4. Double-click the master page name at the top of the Pages panel to modify the layout of the new master page.

You can also duplicate a master page by dragging an existing master onto the Create New Page button at the bottom of the Pages panel.

Putting Master Pages to Work

With the master pages completed, you can start work on your design project. As you work on the document pages in your project, you’ll apply master pages to them, insert or delete document pages to the document, and perhaps edit or delete a master item on a document page to make an isolated change that doesn’t warrant editing the master page.

Applying Master Pages

When master pages are applied to document pages, the prefix letter (A for A-Master, for example) appears on the page thumbnail in the Pages panel. This makes it easy to see which master page is applied to a document page.

To apply a master page to a document page (Figure 4.10):

  1. In the Pages panel, select the document pages for applying the master page.
  2. Select Apply Master To Pages from the Pages panel menu.
  3. In the Apply Master dialog box, select a master to apply to the document page from the Apply Master menu.
  4. Click OK.
Figure 4.10

Figure 4.10 Applying a master page to selected document pages in the Pages panel

Adding Pages Based on Master Pages

To add a new page after a particular page in the document:

  1. In the Pages panel, select the page you want to add a page after.
  2. Choose Layout > Pages > Add Page, or click the Create New Page button at the bottom of the Pages panel.

The new page will have the same master page as the selected page.

Another way to add a new page is to:

  • Click the Create New Page button at the bottom of the Pages panel.

To add pages to any location in your document (Figure 4.11):

  1. Choose Layout > Pages > Insert Pages or select Insert Pages from the Pages panel menu.

    The Insert Pages dialog box enables you to add new pages before or after a particular page number, or at the start or end of the document.

  2. Enter the number of pages to add in the Pages field. (Later in this chapter we’ll talk about what can happen to a facing-pages document when you add an odd number of pages.)
  3. Select an option from the Insert menu to specify where to add the pages. If you select After Page or Before Page, you can enter a page number in the field at right.
  4. Select a master page or master spread to apply to the new pages from the Master menu.
  5. Click OK to add the pages. If you happen to add the pages in the wrong place, you can immediately press Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac OS) to remove the pages.
Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 Adding one or more pages and applying a master page

Another way to insert pages is to:

  • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the Create New Page button at the bottom of the Page panel.

Deleting Pages

As easy as it is to add new pages to a document, you can also delete pages or page spreads from your document.

To delete document pages (Figure 4.12):

  1. Select the pages to delete in the Pages panel.
  2. Choose Delete Page from the Pages panel menu, click the Delete Selected Pages button at the bottom of the Pages panel, or choose Layout > Pages > Delete Pages.
  3. A warning dialog box appears if the page contains design elements. To delete the page and all of its content, click OK.
Figure 4.12

Figure 4.12 Deleting a selected page

You can also delete pages by dragging the page icons onto the Delete Selected Pages button at the bottom of the Pages panel.

Working with Master Items

  • video.jpg Video 4.5

When you’re working on document pages, master items are recognizable by a thin dotted border when the Screen Mode is set to Normal. Master items on document pages are locked so they can’t be accidentally edited. As you design your magazine pages, you will find that you occasionally need to edit master items. For example, a master page may add frames with a color tint to document pages. The managing editor’s column in the magazine pages project is an example of this. For one instance of this column you decide you want to edit its color. Editing the master item on the master page would change it on all pages that have the master page applied to it. You can, however, override a master item. A master item override releases the master item on the document page so you can edit it. This converts the item to a document page item.

Keep in mind that any changes you make to the master item on the master page might no longer result in an update of the item on the document page. For example, if you change the fill color of the overridden item on the page, and later change the fill color of the master item, the color will not update on the document page with the override.

To override a master item on a document page (Figure 4.13):

  1. Using the Selection tool, Shift-Ctrl-click (Windows) or Shift-Command-click (Mac OS) the master item.
  2. Make any design changes to the object, such as text or color changes. You can also delete the object if needed.
Figure 4.13

Figure 4.13 Shift-Ctrl-click (Windows) or Shift-Command-click (Mac OS) the quote’s text frame (a master item). The master item becomes a standard page object, so you can replace the placeholder text for the quote with real text.

Using Different Page Sizes in a Single Document

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.1

As you add more pages to your magazine layout, each new page takes on the magazine page size (Letter) by default. InDesign allows you to use different page sizes in a single document. To do this, you will first need to make sure that pages in a facing-page document are not allowed to “shuffle.”

Preventing Pages from Shuffling

When working in a document with facing pages, odd-numbered pages are on the right and even-numbered pages are on the left. When you insert an odd number of new pages, each subsequent page will change from a right to a left page and vice versa. This can possibly create some design dramas—for example, if you have applied a different master page to left and right pages or specifically positioned design elements so they balance nicely across a page spread.

Don’t worry: You can change this default behavior and keep left and right pages in their original page positions when adding new pages to a document. To do so, simply ensure that the Allow Document Pages To Shuffle setting in the Pages panel menu is unchecked. Pages will still shuffle as you add more pages, but a left or right page will always remain a left or right page. Additionally, you can opt to keep entire page spreads together by selecting the spread in the Pages panel and unchecking the Allow Spreads To Shuffle from the Pages panel menu (Figure 4.14).

Figure 4.14

Figure 4.14 Deselecting the Allow Document Pages To Shuffle setting in the Pages panel prevents left pages from becoming right pages (and right pages from become left pages) when you insert or delete pages.

Adding a Foldout with a Different Page Size

  • video.jpg Video 4.15

When Allow Document Pages To Shuffle is disabled as discussed in the previous section, you can add a foldout of a different size to a page spread without the other pages moving.

To adjust a page size for a page in the document (Figure 4.15):

  1. Select the Page tool (page-tool.jpg).
  2. In the Pages panel, click the page icon of the page you want to resize. You can also click the page itself in the document window.
  3. In the Control panel, change the values in the Width and/or Height fields for the selected page. Or, click the Edit Page Size button at the bottom of the Pages panel, choose Custom, enter the Width and Height settings in the Custom Page Size dialog box, and click OK.
Figure 4.15

Figure 4.15 Changing the page size of a document page

Numbering and Sections

  • video.jpg Video 4.18

An InDesign section consists of one or more pages with different page numbering or designs. As you design different publications, such as magazines, books, and reports, you will likely encounter the need for page numbering sections.

  • A printed magazine might have a cover that’s printed on different paper from its inside pages. The cover itself might not require any page numbering; however, the first of the inside pages needs to start on page 1.
  • The front matter in a book (the pages that precede the core text such as a preface or table of contents) might use Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.) instead of Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.).
  • You might want to add a foldout page to a spread in a magazine that doesn’t affect the page numbering of the other pages.

Page numbers are added as a special character (Type > Insert Special Character > Markers) on master pages. The master pages are then applied to document pages, adding the page numbers. To adjust the page numbering style for pages, you must first create a section for those pages.

Let’s look at the foldout as a practical example. The magazine pages are numbered 1 through 4. With the foldout page added between pages 3 and 4, the page number of the last page increases to 5 (Figure 4.16).

Figure 4.16

Figure 4.16 The magazine page numbering changes because the foldout is added to page 3.

As the foldout is not part of the sequential page numbering of the magazine, start by creating a new section for the foldout page. Then, you will change the numbering style for this page (for example, to A, B, C) so that it does not clash with the Arabic numerals. Finally, you will start a new section after the foldout page to pick up where the sequential page numbering left off. Start the page numbering at page 4 and change the style back to Arabic numbers (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17

Figure 4.17 The page numbering of a magazine with two sections

To start a new section and change the page numbering for that section (Figure 4.18):

  1. In the Pages panel, double-click the page that marks the start of the section.
  2. Select Numbering & Section Options from the Pages panel menu.
  3. In the New Section dialog box, select Start Section.
  4. To adjust the page number on which that section starts, enter the Start Page Number.
  5. From the Style menu, select the preferred page numbering style, and click OK.

    A section indicator icon (a small triangle) appears at the top of the page to indicate a section start.

Figure 4.18

Figure 4.18 In the Pages panel, a section indicator marks the new section started for the foldout page.

To edit the Numbering & Sections Options at any stage, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the section indicator icon in the Pages panel.
  • Select the page and select Numbering & Section Options from the Pages panel menu.
  • Select the page and choose Layout > Numbering & Section Options.

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