This is a fairly basic InDesign feature but it’s something that frustrated me for a while. Before I spent much time with InDesign I was always frustrated when I received a file with text frames in the master page that I couldn’t access on a document page. Well, actually, I could.
If a text frame, a frame or an image is placed on a master page – that text frame, frame or image can be utilized on a page in the document with that master applied by holding ctrl+shift and clicking the item.
Here’s a quick master page layout.
There are two text boxes with text populated and styled. This is not only placeholder text but placeholder text with placeholder character and paragraph styles. I’ve applied the A-Master to page 1 by clicking and dragging the little page thumbnail (outlined in red) down over page 1 and releasing.
So now page 1 looks just like the master.
Notice that you can see the text boxes from the master layout but you cannot select the text boxes or black rectangle with the regular selection tools.
Now hold ctrl+shift then click the “Template Title” box and it will become editable.
Now hit the T key or select the text tool and you can edit that place holder text.
Now you’ve got the layout and style defined in the master page and it is editable in the document. I really wish I knew about this a year ago when I was putting together a large map book with about a dozen master pages.
You can use images in the same fashion. Try the same process with an image. Place an image on the master, crop slightly, then on a page in the document, ctrl+shift click the image, then double click and place a different image.
Download the file I’ve used in this example.
Master Page Placeholder Text.indd