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Creating, Renaming, and Deleting Master Pages

When you begin a new document in FrameMaker (from File, New, Document, Portrait), a right master page is automatically created. You can set the document to double-sided at any time with Format, Page Layout, Pagination, Double-sided. This command automatically creates a left master page in the document in addition to the right master page.

FrameMaker's default master page layout includes two background text frames for the header and footer, and a text frame template for the text column on body pages. You can modify text frames on master pages as needed.

Adding Master Pages

Typically, chapter opener pages use a slightly different page layout from subsequent pages in a chapter. For instance, a chapter opener page may contain some decorative graphic elements, or exclude header or footer information. Chapter opener pages are consistent-looking for each chapter, and show the reader that a new chapter is starting.

In this exercise, you learn how to add a chapter opener master page to a document. Of course, you can apply this technique to add a variety of master pages to a FrameMaker document.

Let's begin from any body page of a document:

  1. Select View, Master Pages. The master page that corresponds to the body page you started with is displayed. If you were on a right-sided body page, the right master page is displayed. If you were on a left-sided body page, the left master page is displayed.

  2. Select Special, Add Master Page. You see the Add Master Page window.

  3. Type First in the Name field. "First" is the name of the new master page.

  4. Select Right from the Copy from Master Page pull-down menu (see Figure 1). In a double-sided document, chapters usually begin on a right-sided page. Therefore, copying from the existing right master page gives you a head start. The characteristics of the right master page are retained in the new master page, including template and background text frames as well as graphics. You then proceed with modifying the template and background text frames on the new master page. This is easier then starting with a blank master page and adding new text frames to the page.

  5. Figure 1 Working in the Add Master Page window.

  6. Click the Add button. The new master page, First, is displayed. Modify the master page layout as required. To return to body pages, select View, Body Pages.

Later in this article, you learn some techniques to apply your new master page layout to a body page.

Creating Master Pages Based on Body Page Layout

Previously, you saw how to create a new master page based on another master page layout. In this section, you learn how to create a new master page based on a body page layout.

Many times while designing a new FrameMaker template, I find myself manipulating text frames on body pages just to see how things look. Before I know it, I have the perfect page layout that must be transferred to a master page.

FrameMaker provides two methods to accomplish this task. First, you select View, Master Pages; create a new blank master page; and copy/paste the page layout from a body page.

Next, you can create a master page layout based on the body page by following these steps:

  1. From a body page whose page layout you want to use, select Format, Page Layout, New Master Page. The New Master Page window appears.

  2. Type a name in the Master Page Name field.

  3. When you are finished, click the Create button. A new master page is created and you are returned to the body page. If you want to view the new master page, select View, Master Pages. If the body page included headers and footers based on a previous master page layout, they are also included in the new master page layout.

Renaming Master Pages

After you create new master pages, you can change the master page name at any time. Here's how:

  1. Display the master page that you want to change.

  2. Click one time on the master page name in the status bar. The Master Page Name window is displayed.

  3. Type the new name in the Name field.

  4. Click the Set button.


You cannot change the name of master page left or right.

Deleting Master Pages

The first rule of thumb for master page deletion is that left or right master pages cannot be deleted, regardless of whether or not you plan to use either one. You can only delete custom master pages that you created.

Here is some more background information that may be helpful to you. Single-sided documents produce only a right master page. If you change a document to double-sided by selecting Format, Page Layout, Pagination, a left master page is automatically added.

Let's take this scenario a step further. Let's say you were to modify the left master page with regard to template and background text frames and the addition of graphics. If you switch the document back to single-sided, the left master page no longer exists in the document—just a right master page remains.

Now, let's say that you decide to switch back to a double-sided page layout. The good news is the left master page is added back to the document with the previous modification changes intact.

Previously, you learned how to add a master page named "First". In this exercise, you learn how to delete it:

  1. Select View, Master Pages. The master page that corresponds to the body page you started with is displayed.

  2. Select View, Go To Page. Select First from the pull-down list. "First" is the name of the master page you created.

  3. Click the Go button. The master page named "First" is displayed. The master page name is displayed in the status bar.

  4. Select Special, Delete Page "First". You are prompted with a message alert window, "Deletion of page First cannot be undone. OK to continue?"

  5. Click OK to continue. The master page is deleted.

Deleting Master Pages in Use by Body Pages

If master pages are in use by one or more body pages, and you attempt to delete that master page, you are met with an alert message, saying that you cannot delete the master page.

To solve this, you must apply a different master page layout to corresponding body pages before deleting the master page. For more information on applying a master page layout to body pages, see "Master Page Usage Techniques," later in this article.

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