InDesign Master Pages Explained – [Video Tutorial]

InDesign Tutorial – How to Set Up and Use Master Pages

Setting up master pages is one of the first things you will need to do when creating a catalog, price book, or any sort of multi-page publication design. This step by step tutorial explains how to set them up and why using them is best practice with InDesign Tutorial.



Master pages are like backgrounds that you can apply to pages. Like backgrounds, elements on master pages show up behind other elements you add to the page. You can create multiple different master pages for a document.

The Pages Panel

Open the pages panel and you will see the default A-Master. Right now it is blank. To add elements to it all you have to do is double click one of the pages. As you can see there is a master spread comprised of a left and right page.

Good things to include on the master page are the header and footer and other elements that you want to be persistent and don’t change from page to page.

To exit the master pages view double click on a page in the pages panel.

Creating a New Master

To create another master page click the more options button in the top right of the pages panel. From here you can duplicate the existing master or create a new one.

To apply a master to pages, select one or more page using shift, right click, and click Apply Master to Pages.  

Margins with Catsy

Page margins are important because Catsy templates are sprayed within them, and headers and footers exist outside of them. This prevents overlap when automation is brought into play.

For example if you design a longer header then it will be necessary to go into Layout > Margins & Columns and extend the margin so that data won’t be sprayed on top of them.

Automating Catalog Creation

Pages can automatically be populated with product images, description, tables, and prices using Catsy. Catsy is a product information management and publishing platform that centralizes product data management and publishing. In addition to Catsy’s InDesign tool discussed in this video, non-designers can create automatic price books from within Catsy.