Apply master pages based on paragraph and object styles
Note: Since InDesign 2022, “master pages” are called “parent pages”. Mastermatic has not yet been updated to reflect the new terminology, but remains 100% fully functional on all latest versions of InDesign on both Windows and Mac computers.
This InDesign add-on lets you link up master pages to paragraph styles and object styles.
With Mastermatic you can make a list of instructions to tell InDesign:
- Wherever paragraph style A appears in the document, apply master page X
- Wherever paragraph style B appears in the document, apply master page Y
- … and so on.
You can do the same with object styles:
- Wherever object style A appears in the document, apply master page X
- Wherever object style B appears in the document, apply master page Y
- etc. etc.
For example, you can now easily have a special master page applied on every page that contains a graphic image, and a different master page applied to every page that has a “Chapter Title” paragraph style, and so on.
But the best part of it is that it will update automatically while you work!
Unlike a traditional InDesign script, this script can keep track of your document while you work and update the master pages as needed – automatically! So if your text reflows, or you move a graphic to a different page, the appropriate master page will be applied automatically while you continue to work. It’s truly MASTERMATIC!
You’re in good company!
Major world publishers, including Penguin Random House, have rolled out Mastermatic to large teams of their designers. The response? “Overwhelmingly positive!” says John Tomaselli, senior manager. “The designers using it have all acknowledged substantial time savings. [Mastermatic] has become an important tool for us, [and] is highly recommended.”
- Create as many paragraph style–master page pairs as you need.
- Create as many object style–master page pairs as you need.
- “Live Update” – InDesign will continuously monitor your document, and apply the correct master pages as needed.
- Choose a default master page for all other pages.
- Choose a master page to apply to all blank pages.
- Ignore the first X number of pages at the start of the document (often, preliminary pages have a specific set of master pages applied whose order never changes).
- “Sticky masters” lets you easily create a document with colored sections.
- All your settings are stored in the document, so you do not need to set them up more than once.
- New in Version 2.2: Load the settings from an old document so you don’t need to create them from scratch each time.
- New in Version 2.5: Enable the old-style InDesign layout adjustment feature. When you apply a new master page with different margins, the text frame will resize accordingly.
To browse the full product documentation, click here.
Click here to download a demo of the latest version of Mastermatic. You may run the demo version up to 10 times.
To purchase the full version of Mastermatic for only $57, click the “Buy Now” button. Your product and serial numbers will be available for instant download when you complete the purchase.
If you are not satisfied with Mastermatic for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
NeilApril 4, 2016 9:48 pm
Great script but can how does it keep track of different setting for a single publication without a save setting option?
AdminApril 4, 2016 10:06 pm
Mastermatic saves all the user settings as part of the document metadata (accessible only to scripts) — so you can have different settings for different documents, and when you open each document and run Mastermatic, it will remember the last settings you’ve used for that document.
And if you save a document as a template, then any new documents based off that template will also have those Mastermatic settings set up and ready to use.
With the latest version (2.2.0, May 2019) you can also transfer settings from one document to another unrelated document.
(Reply edited in May 2019 to account for the latest updates to Mastermatic.)
NeilApril 7, 2016 3:21 pm
Many thanks Ariel for your explanation.
MichaelApril 25, 2016 8:19 am
Great script. I believe it tries to replicate what FrameMaker was doing for years with its Reference Pages. There is one thing one can’t expect your script to do right though – to override body page text frames with master page ones and expect to maintain the text flow (something FrameMaker was doing with ease). You are up against text flows and FrameMaker’s ability to differentiate between them. Now that would require some serious thought.
I have something on the pipeline for that.