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Working with Master Pages in FrameMaker

by Ron Kurtus (26 December 2006)

Master pages in Adobe FrameMaker are special style pages that contain a document's page layout, such that each new page in the document will have the layout defined in its master page.

When creating a new document, you usually configured your page layout, paragraphs and characters first. Then you can use your master pages to fine-tune that configuration, including formatting the header and footer and adding other master pages.

Your master pages can be accessed by selecting View > Master Pages.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Adding master page

When a blank new document is created, a single default master page is included. If you set the page layout pagination to a double-sided document, you will get left and right master pages.

You can add other master pages with custom layout configurations to a document. For example, you may want the first page of a report to be different than the following pages.

From the master pages view (View > Master Pages), select Special > Add Master Page.... The Add Master Page dialog box displays. You can then select to copy the initial page layout from an existing master page or leave it empty. You can also required to name your master page to distinguish it from the others.

You can also add a master page from the body pages view (View > Body Pages) by selecting Format > Page Layout... > New Master Page....

Master page usage

After you have added a new master page, you need to define how that page is to be used. From the body pages view, select Format > Page Layout > Master Page Usage.... You can select Right, Right/Left (if applicable) or Custom.

Custom will allow you to assign the given page to a custom master page.

Format master page

From the master pages view, select an insertion point in the header or footer for a specific master page. You can type in text that will display in the header or footer on every page for that master page. Also, by selecting Format > Headers & Footers..., you can insert the page number, page count, current date and other items, such as Chapter Number and Running H/F. A Running H/F can be the book, chapter or section title, as well as other defined items.

You can import an image—such as a company logo—anywhere in the Master Page.

If you want text on every page in the standard text area, you need to create a new text frame for that text. A dialog window will allow you to select it as background text to be displayed similar to a header or footer.


Master pages are special style pages that contain a document's page layout. You can add new master pages to a document, assign how the master page is used in your document, and format the document's headers and footers.

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