InDesign tip : #21

screen grab showing page tool in tool panelof all the groovy features released with CS5, the most longed-for must be the ability to have different page sizes in the one document. now you can have a whole stationery set in one file, or do tricky things with book covers without lots of guides and measuring and whatnot. once you get started with the page tool — near the top of your tool panel — you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

this tip will use a book cover with flaps as its example. the page tool is easy to use — just grab the tool and click on the page (or pages) you want to adjust. you’ll get familiar fields up in your control panel :
screen grab of control panel when page tool is selected

of course, if you’re smart (and you know you are), you’d do this with your master pages and then drag the masters down to make your spread. here’s the 300x200mm covers with a 100mm flap at each end :
screen grab of four page spread — covers and flaps

now (obviously) somewhere down the track the specs are going to change and you’ll need to add a 10mm spine to that cover. no worries, just make a 10mm wide page and drop it in … but what’s this? :
screen grab of margin warning dialog

buggeration! but don’t panic. all it means is that you can’t have, for example, 15mm margins on a 10mm page. just set margins and columns appropriate for that page and you’ll be cruising :
screen grab of cover spread with spine

ok, you got that sorted and now the client has come back with another change (don’t you just love your job?) — covers are now to be 250mm instead of 300mm. no worries just use the page tool to change your master and everything’s sweet … um … :
screen grab of messed up cover spread

now that’s annoying. and it gets even more annoying when you try to drag those little buggers back into a nice neat spread in you pages panel — go on, try it, dare you.

but don’t despair, because the fix is pretty easy. just grab your page tool again and shift-click to select all the pages in the spread. in the control panel check the use spacing box, set the spacing to 0mm and hit the horizontal spacing button :
screen grab of page alignment portion of the control panel

… and everything is hunky dory again :
screen grab of fixed spread

there may well be limits to page sizes but there seems to be no problem making pages 1x1mm — so now you can go ahead and make that nano-book you’ve always dreamed of (you know you want to). go sick.

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