Learn the basics of working with pages in Adobe InDesign, including how to navigate, create, and edit pages and master pages, set up column guides, and more.
Discover how to navigate between pages in a document using the Properties panel, Pages panel and other methods.
With Adobe InDesign, you can create multi-page documents like brochures, newsletters, magazines, books, and a whole lot more. To start working with multiple pages, you'll explore the difference between facing and non-facing page documents. And you'll learn how to navigate pages in a document using the Pages panel and a few other methods. If you'd like to follow along, you can open this practice file from the downloadable practice files for this tutorial. So that you can see the entire first page of this document, choose View, Fit Page in Window. Then to zoom out, so you can see multiple pages in this document, press Command - on Mac or Control - on Windows a few times. Now by default, pages in an InDesign document are shown vertically. And each page has its own pasteboard. This Grey area around it where you can put content that won't print. Now this document is a non-facing page document since it has single pages. Examples of non-facing page documents include a double-sided flyer, a business card, letterhead, and a lot more. Now, to understand the difference between a facing page document and a non-facing page document, you'll first create a new document. To create a new document, choose File, New, Document... In the New Document dialog box that opens, after you choose a preset, like Print, you'll see this Facing Pages option over on the right. Change the Number of Pages to 8, so that there are more pages that you can look at. And leave the Facing Pages option selected. Click Create. When the document opens, press Command - on Mac or Control - on Windows a few times to zoom out enough, so you can see all the pages in the document. Now since this document has facing pages, the pages are next to each other. Each set of facing pages is called a spread in InDesign. This facing page document could become a magazine or a book, for example. This first page you see here is the cover which is why it's a single page to start. Now a facing page document is usually meant to be bound like a book or a magazine. And the pages actually face each other when you open or close the magazine or book. There is also a right-hand page and a left-hand page, so that maybe the page numbers can be put in opposite corners, for instance. You can close this file without saving by choosing File, Close. Back in the non-facing page document, you can choose View, Fit Page in Window. Now you'll explore navigating pages. You can use the Hand tool in the Tools panel on the left to drag from one page to another. Or you could use this scrollbar on the right to go from page to page. All of the pages in the document can be seen in the Properties panel on the right in this Page menu. You'll also see a page called A-Master which is the master page. or template you can use for the document. You can also open the Pages panel to see the pages in the document which can be an easier way to visualize your pages especially when you're working with a longer document. To open the Pages panel, choose Window, Pages, and it should open up here on the right. In the Pages panel, you'll see Master pages which are like document templates at the top half of the panel. In the bottom half of the panel are the pages in the document represented as thumbnails. Now to move from one page to another in the Pages panel, double click the page number 5 thumbnail. That page is now the active page in the document window. You can tell which page is showing in the document window because the number between the page thumbnail in the Pages panel is highlighted. You can also see the page number down below the page in the status bar. If you click this menu, you can see the number of pages available and the master page at the bottom. Choose another page number from this menu, like 1 to show that page in the document window. You can also click these arrows to navigate to the previous page, the next page, and more. As you navigate using this menu or these arrows, pay attention in the Pages panel to see what's selected. There really are a lot of ways to navigate multi-page documents in InDesign as you'll discover by exploring and using the program. But knowing the basics of navigating with the Hand tool, the scrollbar working with the Properties and Pages panel, and even the Pages menu in the status bar down here give you a jump-start to work with multi-page documents.
What you learned: Navigate between pages
InDesign documents can contain a large number of pages that are either facing or non-facing.
Facing page documents are two or more pages next to each other, as in a book or magazine layout. Examples of non-facing page documents are a business card or flyer.
When you create a document (File > New), you set a document as facing or non-facing. You can change this setting later.
In the Properties panel and Pages panel (Window > Pages), you can view, navigate, add, and edit pages in the current document.
To navigate to a specific page, choose the page number in the Properties panel with no content selected or double-click the page thumbnail in the Pages panel.
In the Status bar below the document you can also navigate between the pages by choosing a page number.
Add and edit pages in a document using the Pages panel and Properties panel.
InDesign excels at creating multi-page documents like brochures, books, magazines, and a lot more. In this video, you'll add a series of pages to a document using the Properties panel and Pages panel in InDesign change options like page size, and reorder pages in the document. You can open this practice file from the downloadable practice files for this tutorial if you want to follow along. Now there are several ways to add pages to a document in InDesign. When you first set up a document, you can enter any number of pages before creating it. But you can also add or remove pages after your document has been created. And that's what you'll do. This practice file only has a single page. With nothing selected, in the Properties panel to the right, click the Pages menu. You can see only one page and a master page which you'll learn more about in another video in this tutorial about master pages. To add another page to this document, click the Create New Page button here. Our new page is added after Page 1, or whatever page was showing in the document window. In InDesign, pages in the same document can be different sizes. maybe to create a bunch of collateral like a postcard, a business card, et cetera in the same document. With Page 2 chosen and showing in the document window, click the Edit button here to edit the page. You can then choose a default page size or create a custom page size. Choose US Business Card or something similar, and the page size for Page 2 will change. Now for this menu document, there needs to be a lunch menu, and a dinner menu page. And they'll look the same except for the text. To make that happen, you'll open the Pages panel. First, to stop editing this page, click Back at the top of the Properties panel. Then click the Pages panel tab if you see it up here to open the Pages panel. Or choose Window, Pages. In the Pages panel, you can create a copy of a page and make changes to the copy. Drag the Page 1 thumbnail down to the Create New Page button down here, and release to copy the page. And place it at the end of the document. So that you can see all the pages in the document window, press Command - on Mac or Control - on Windows a few times to zoom out. Now the thumbnails in the Pages panel will mirror what's going on in the document. You can see the actual page sizes out here. This new page copy needs to be right after the original. To do that, you can reorder pages in the Pages panel. Drag the Page 3 thumbnail up between Pages 1 and 2. When a line appears either to the left of Page 2 or to the right of Page 1, release to reorder the pages. If nothing happens, you can simply try dragging again. Now to delete a page like this blank one, you can do it either in the Properties panel or here in the Pages panel. In the Pages panel, you first need to select the page you want to delete. So, click the Page 3 thumbnail to select it. Then down here click the Delete selected pages button to remove it. With the new page in place, Page 2, you can change it to turn it into a dinner menu. To see the entire page, choose View, Fit Page in Window. Now that you know how to add pages to your InDesign documents, try creating your own longer documents, whether they're menus, brochures, letters, magazines, or anything else you need.
What you learned: Create, edit, and organize pages
- To create a new page, with no content selected in the document, click the Create New Page button in the Properties panel.
- To edit page properties like size and orientation, click the Edit button in the Page section of the Properties panel, with no content in the document selected. To stop editing page properties, click the Back button at the top of the Properties panel.
- To duplicate a page, in the Pages panel (Window > Pages), you can drag a page thumbnail to the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel.
- In the Pages panel, drag a page thumbnail to reorder it in the document.
- To delete a selected page or pages, click the Delete Selected Pages button (trash can) at the bottom of the Pages panel (Window > Pages).
Discover what a master page is and add content to the default master.
In Adobe InDesign, if you need to have consistent elements on your pages, like page numbers, footer content, a logo, or even placeholder frames, you can add that content to the default master page. In this document, you'll explore what master pages are and discover how useful they can be. You can open this file from the downloadable practice files if you want to follow along. In this file, you'll add a few elements to each page. Instead of creating that content on each page maybe by copying and pasting it, you can place it on a master page. In the Properties panel to the right with nothing selected, click the Pages menu. in that menu you'll see a single master page named A-Master that by default comes with every document and is blank to start. A-Master is also the default master page that is applied to all pages. So, content placed on this A-Master page will appear on all of the pages in the document. If you need to, you can create additional master pages, maybe for different sections in a magazine or chapters in a book. To add and edit content on a master page, choose A-Master from this menu to open it in the document window. The first thing you'll add is a project title that needs to appear on every page. So, select the Line tool in the Tools panel on the left. Move the pointer over the left edge of the page down here. Press and drag to the right. As you drag, press the Shift key to constrain the line to 45 degrees. When the label next to the pointer shows a length of around 0.75 in, release the mouse button and then the key. With the line selected, you'll make a few appearance changes. In the Properties panel, choose 1 pt from the Stroke rate menu if it isn't already selected. Then click the Stroke color, and with the Swatches option selected, make sure the black color is selected. Now, to make the black a little lighter gray, click this Tint value and drag the slider to the left, just a little bit. To zoom into the line, press Command + on Mac or Control + on Windows a few times. Now you'll add some text. So, select the Type tool in the Tools panel on the left. And starting above the line on the left edge of the page, press and drag to create a text frame. Type in capital letters, 'VEILS'. Now you'll align this text to the right. So, in the Paragraph section in the Properties panel, click the Align Right option. Select the Selection tool in the Tools panel. and drag across both of these objects to select them. So that you can keep them together and move them as one object, you'll group them. Click the Group button in the Properties panel. Then, so you deselect everything, click in a blank area. Now to make sure you can see everything out here, choose View, Fit Page in Window. To see the content on the pages, choose 2 from the Page menu in the Properties panel. There's the content. Then choose 3 from the same menu, and you'll see it there too. Content that comes from A-Master page has a dotted border on the frame which is a visual that tells you it comes from A-Master page. With the Selection tool selected, if you try to select this master content, you won't be able to. Master content on your pages is locked by default. To change the master content, you'll make your edits directly on the master page. knowing that your changes will be reflected on all of the pages that the master's applied to. Now choose 1 from the Page menu. Notice that the content on the master page isn't showing. That's because master page content on pages is behind all content put on the page by default. You'll learn about layering content in another tutorial on organizing content with layers. By using master pages, you can save time and work faster and smarter in InDesign. Now that you understand how they work, you can create and edit content on your master pages to maintain consistent elements across your designs.
What you learned: Add content to the master page
A master page is like a document template — any object placed on a master page appears automatically on pages that are based on that master page. This is useful for creating consistent elements such as page numbers, logos, or placeholder frames. Each document can have multiple master pages.
In the Page menu of the Properties panel you will see a single master page and the pages in the document.
In the Pages panel (Window > Pages), the letter A on each page thumbnail indicates that the default master page, named “A-Master,” is applied to that page.
- To add content to a master page, with no content in the document selected, choose the master page from the Page menu in the Properties panel.
A master item cannot be selected on a document page unless the master item is overridden.
Change margin and column guides on your pages for framing where content will go.
When laying out your pages in InDesign, if you want to create columns of text, for instance, you can set up a series of non-printing Margin and Column guides in your document. In order to learn about margins and columns, you'll add several column guides to a document to more easily create a page layout. If you want to follow along you can open this file from the downloadable practice files for this tutorial. Now in this document, the content is going to be arranged in a few columns: text in one column on the left and this graphic in the other. To do that, you could simply drag and resize the content on the page; you could create page guides, or you could change the margin and column guides for the page to help you out. On this page, you'll see these pink and purple lines. They are the margin guides or guides that frame your content and determine the space between the content and the edge of the page. They're there for different reasons, like to remind you to keep content away from the edge of the page, if you're printing on a desktop printer that can't print to the edge of the page or for more whitespace. To set the margin and column guides, choose Layout, Margins and Columns... In the dialog box that appears, make sure that Preview is selected, so you can see the changes happen. Note that the changes you make will currently only affect the page showing in the document window. If you wanted to apply these changes to all of the pages in the document, for instance, you could go to a master page and change the margins and columns there. You can adjust the margins on your page independently by turning off this Make All Settings the Same option. That way you could add a larger margin at the top of the page to account for a header, for instance. Leave the Margins at their defaults. In the case of this page's layout, two columns will be used. So, change the Number of Columns to 2 to see the effect on the page. column and margin guides are non-printing and are there to be used if you need. Notice that the text frame didn't move or change when you change the columns. Setting columns like this can be done after content is added or before. Usually, it's easier to set these before content is on the page. Now the Gutter value is the distance between the columns and can be a great way to add more spacing between the column guides. Set the Gutter value to 0.25 in by clicking the arrow here. Then click OK. With the Selection tool selected, click the text to select the text frame. Then drag the lower right point down here to make it so it fits within the first column. Then drag the image group off the right edge of the page into the top of the second column. Click in the text again. Drag the text frame down. To flow this overset text or text that won't fit in the frame into the second column, click the red plus in the outboard of the text frame and release the mouse button. Move the pointer into the second column and click on the left edge of the column to flow the rest of the text. Now that you know how to set up margins and columns for your InDesign projects, it will be easier to create columns of content and also to frame your content. Try experimenting on your own with different content by creating multiple-column brochures, flyers, magazine layouts, and more.
What you learned: Add columns and set margins
Margins and columns are nonprinting guides that can be set for pages and spreads and can be used to frame where columns of text or content may go.
- To change margin and column settings for a page, navigate to a page in the Document window or select a spread or page in the Pages panel. Choose Layout > Margins and Columns, specify options, and click OK.
When you change the column and margin settings on a master page, you change the setting for all pages that the master is applied to.
Changing the columns and margins of pages selected in the Pages panel affects only the selected pages.