A Multi-page Layout in InDesign

For this tutorial, you will be making a multipage layout in InDesign that can be used for a simple lookbook or photo journal. The tutorial uses master pages so that you can have elements repeat on every page in the same place, you will also create a second master page that can have elements that differ from the original.
1. Create a new document in the standard 8.5″ x 11″ page size (you may see it displayed as 51p0 x 66p0 which translates into 8.5″ x 11″) Make the number of pages 12 and make sure facing pages is checked. Change the Margins to 6p0 (1″) on all four sides and make 4 columns with a 1p6 (1/4″) gutter (the space between the columns) Click Create.

2. In the pages panel (if not visible go to the WINDOW menu > PAGES) and double-click on the A-Master page thumbnails.

This is the area where you make additions to your layout that will appear on every page. With the content tool, draw a rectangle that covers the entire right-hand page.

3. With the text tool, click on the rectangle to activate it as a text frame. Change the font to a typeface of your choice (I used Montserrat Bold) and change the size to 24pts.

Go to the TYPE menu > INSERT SPECIAL CHARACTERS > MARKERS > Current Page Number, InDesign will place a letter corresponding to the Master Page you are on. Change the paragraph orientation to Align Right.

4. Go to the OBJECT menu > TEXT FRAME OPTIONS and change the text inset to 3p0 (1/2″) and the vertical alignment to the bottom. Click OK

5. Select the text frame and hold/opt key down and drag a copy onto the left-hand page. Highlight the text and change the paragraph orientation to Left Aligned and the color to Paper (white.) With the new text frame selected, change the fill color to black.

6. Select both pages in the Pages Panel by holding down the Shift key and clicking the right and left-hand pages and go to the LAYOUT menu > CREATE GUIDES. Change the number of rows to 3 with a gutter of 1p6 (1/4″) and fit the guides to the margins.

The Layout with A-Master applied to all pages

If you click through the pages in your layout you will now see a black page is on the left and white page is on the right on every spread. The page numbering automatically changes with each page.

7. Go back to the Master Page area and click on A-Master – this will highlight both pages. Then from the Pages Panel menu click on Duplicate Master Page “A-Master” This makes a copy of the master page designated with the letter B.

8. Open the Swatches Panel (WINDOW menu > SWATCHES) in the B-Master page, change the background color for the left and right-hand to Red. Then change the fill color of the page number on the right-hand page to Paper (white.)

9. Drag the B-Master page to page 6 and 7 – these pages will now get updated with the red background color and the page numbering will stay intact.

10. Drag the B-Master page to the first page and to the last page (page 12).
11. To remove page numbering from the cover and back cover, select the page in the Pages Panel and go to the Pages Panel menu and click on Override All Master Page Items.

This disconnects the page from the master and allows you to change all aspects of the text frame. With the type tool edit the page number to say something like COVER, change the height of the text (I used 96pts), the alignment (in my example I changed it to center) and the vertical alignment in the Text Frame Options window to Center. You could change the color of the frame or place in a photo if you chose.

Edit the back cover to remove the text and, change the fill etc..

You now have a simple multi-page document with a modular grid. You can now populate the layout with the content of your choice and work with a layout that introduces a tremendous amount of variety.

12. Export the file as a PDF. Go tot he FILE menu > EXPORT and choose Adobe PDF (Print) as the Save As Type. Choose all pages and Export it as Spreads (meaning the PDF will show a left and right-hand page.) Click Export.

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