Pages for Mac: Create and use master pages in a Pages document

Create and use master pages in a Pages document

Page layout templates, including book templates in landscape orientation, use master pages as starting points for each page in the document. Every page layout template has a blank master page, and book templates also have a variety of predesigned master pages with placeholder elements.

When you add a new page to your document, you choose a master page, then add your own content. Changes you make on your document page don’t affect the master page.

In Edit Master Pages view, you can create and design new master pages and modify the existing master pages however you like.

Add a new master page

To create a new master page, you duplicate an existing master page, edit the duplicate, then save it with a new name. Any pages that are linked to the original master page aren’t affected.

  1. Click the View Menu button in the toolbar and choose Edit Master Pages.

  2. Click the Add Page button in the toolbar, then choose the master page you want to use as a starting point.

  3. Type a name for the new master page, then click OK.

    A new master page appears below the original in the sidebar.

  4. Modify the page however you like by adding, deleting, or editing text, placeholders, images, shapes, and other objects.

    You can use any available formatting controls in the Format  sidebar. For more information, see “Edit a master page,” below.

  5. When you’re finished, click Done at the bottom of the window.

You can drag the master pages in the sidebar to rearrange them.

Edit a master page

When you edit a master page, any changes you make are applied to all pages that use that master.

  1. Click the View Menu button in the toolbar and choose Edit Master Pages.

  2. Select the master page you want to edit in the sidebar on the left.

  3. Do any of the following:

    • Modify existing design elements: Select any design elements on the page, then delete them, or edit them using any available formatting controls in the Format  sidebar. To learn how to change the background of a master page, see Change the page background.

    • Add images: To add a placeholder image, click the Media button in the toolbar, then choose an image. Images you add to a master page become placeholders. An image you add to a placeholder in your document will have the same size and placement on the page.

    • Add text boxes: To add a placeholder text box, click the Text button in the toolbar, then use the controls in the Format sidebar to style it however you like: add a border, choose a size and font for the text, and so on. Any text you type in the text box in your document will have the same style you applied to the placeholder text box.

    • Set how headers and footers appear on the page: Click the master page in the sidebar on the left (so nothing is selected on the page). In the Format sidebar, select the “Show header and footer” checkbox to show headers and footers on pages that use this master. If you don’t want the headers and footers to match the ones on the previous page in the document, deselect the “Match previous page” checkbox. (If you don’t see these controls, or the top of the sidebar doesn’t say Master Page Layout, make sure nothing is selected on the page.)

      If the header and footer checkboxes aren’t selectable, first turn them on for the document in the Document sidebar.

  4. When you’re finished, click Done at the bottom of the window.

You can add persistent alignment guides to master pages to help you with layout. These guides don’t appear on pages that use the master page.

Rename a master page

  1. Control-click the thumbnail in the sidebar and choose Rename.

  2. Type the new name, then click OK.

  3. Click Done at the bottom of the window.

Create a new master page based on a page in the document

If you modified a page and want to use its layout for other pages, you can create a master page based on it.

  1. Select the page in page thumbnail view on the left.

  2. Choose Format > Advanced > Create Master from Current Page (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).

    The window changes to Edit Master Page view, and a thumbnail copy of the original master page appears at the bottom of the sidebar on the left.

  3. Control-click the copy on the left and choose Rename.

  4. Type a name for the new master, then click OK.

  5. Click Done at the bottom of the window.

Tag objects to simplify switching master pages

You can tag placeholder items (images and text boxes) on master pages to make it easier to switch masters in your document. The tags “tell” the content where to go when you switch masters for a page. For example, an image that’s in a placeholder with the tag “media” will automatically be populated into a placeholder from the new master that also has the tag “media.”

If you’re creating a new master page in a book template with predesigned master pages, check the other master pages to see what tags they already use, then use the same ones, or replace them with your own.

  1. Click the View Menu button in the toolbar and choose Edit Master Pages.

  2. Select a master page in the sidebar on the left.

  3. Select an object on the master page, then click the Style tab at the top of the Format  sidebar.

  4. Type a tag in the Tag text field at the bottom of the sidebar.

  5. Click Done at the bottom of the window.

Apply a different master page

You can apply a different master page to any page in your document. See “Tag objects to simplify switching master pages,” above, to learn how to tag text boxes and other objects to make the switch go smoothly.

  1. Click anywhere in a blank spot on the page you want to change, or select the page in page thumbnail view.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click Change Master and choose a master page.

  3. Adjust the content on the page as necessary to accommodate the new layout.

Delete a master page

  1. Click the View Menu button in the toolbar and choose Edit Master Pages.

  2. In Edit Master Page view, Control-click the master page in the sidebar on the left and choose Delete.

  3. If pages in the document are linked to this master page, choose a new master page for those pages in the dialog that appears, then click Choose.

  4. Click Done at the bottom of the window.

You can drag the master pages in the sidebar to rearrange them.

Published Date: Apr 3, 2019
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