Grab your pencils and notebooks because you're gonna want to take notes today!
MS Word is a powerful machine for writing. It's great for term papers or formatting a book for upload to the various digital sellers on the web. It spell checks, indents according to your settings, and is easy to place images in. It also converts to html or rtf rather easily by simply choosing save as and making your selection. But there's one thing MS Word doesn't have that leaves it the squalling, hungry infant when compared to Adobe InDesign: Master Pages.
Master Pages are the end-all be-all of the print world. With a master page, you can tell InDesign what every page of your book should look like and where those individual pages should appear. You can pop in a page number and it will appear in the same place on every single page of your book. Adding artwork is easy; you simply place it on the master page and, voila!, it's on every page you have that master on.
I'm going to use The Bird as an example here because I used two sets of master pages to design it: A and B. Master page A was the common page where text, running headers, and page numbers would appear. B was the opening chapter pages. Time for some screen shots!
This is Master Page A. It's the common page and you can see it has running headers, a text box, some nice flourishes at the bottom, and page numbers. It will automatically number each page according to where it falls in the book.
When I'm done, I export it to a PDF and upload it to CreateSpace. Master Pages are the bomb. Period. MS Word can't touch this feature. Even with predefined formatting specs.
All the elements of a master page are locked so you don't accidentally move them around. But there's even a way around this! You ctrl+shift+click on any element and it will become editable. How damned cool is that?
In addition, if I wanted to use this exact layout on every book I produce, I can save it as a template that will re-load with all master pages intact. Comes in handy when formatting a series and you want each book to be identical on the inside!
I hope you learned a little bit today and, if you layout your own print books, are now considering an investment. No, I get no kickbacks from Adobe. I don't do that on this blog. I recommend tools I know you'll love if you give them half a chance.
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!