Muse allows you to create master pages that are applied to other master pages. Hierarchal master pages work similarly to how master pages can be applied to a page in the Plan view. In previous versions of Muse, you could create multiple master pages, but you could only apply one master page with one set of page elements at a time to a web page.
In the past, if you wanted to make a site with two different sections that are similar but each have a unique appearance, you could duplicate a master page, change it slightly, and apply it to specific pages. As a result, both master pages often contained some of the same elements—so whenever you updated the site, it was necessary to edit the content in both master pages to keep all the elements in sync.
Using Muse 4.0 and above, you can now create an A-Master page that contains the shared elements that are displayed in multiple master pages (such as adding the background and footer as described in the previous sections), and then create additional master pages that inherit all elements in the A-Master page, plus contain any elements unique to the first section. If you created a third master page, that one could use the elements in the A-Master page, plus any elements unique to the second section.
The benefit to using hierarchal master pages is that they allow you to limit the occurrence of an element to one instance. When redesigning a site, you only have to edit each element once, and all instances of it are updated on the site automatically.
You manage and apply master pages in Plan view. Just like how you can click and drag a master page thumbnail to a page thumbnail to apply the master page to a page, you can create multiple master pages and then click and drag a master page onto another master page. Or if you prefer, right-click on any master or page thumbnail in Plan view and use the Masters option in the context menu that appears to set the master.
Note that when you hover over a page or master page name, a tooltip displays the hierarchy of the applied masters for that page or master page.
At the moment, you've created the A-Master page with the browser fill tiling background and the footer content. In the next section, you'll create a new master page that inherits the contents of the A-Master page, and then add the header, so you can apply it to the site pages. Follow these steps:
- While viewing the site map in Plan view, hover your cursor over the A-Master page thumbnail to see the Plus sign buttons appear on both sides. Click the Plus sign to the right of the A-Master page to create a brand new master page. By default, the new master page is named B-Master.
- Double-click the B-Master text field below the thumbnail to edit it. Type in a more descriptive name for the new master page you just created: Main.
- Right-click on the Main master page thumbnail and choose Masters > A-Master from the context menu that appears (see Figure 17).