Master pages

This might be basic stuff, but it’s possible you might not have had to do this before. Working from a master page is essential for any large project (unless you want to spend ages doing manual formatting). Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward.

In this example, I’m putting together an A4 book with two columns of text. In Quark 7, selecting File>New>Project will give you this dialog box:

New project

The size of the page uses the A4 letter preset, but you can obviously put in any value. Columns are set to two and the gutter (the distance between columns) is set to 5mm. Be sure to select Automatic Text Box, which will create new pages automatically when you import text.

In the Margin Guides settings, I’ve left a good space on the left margin — if a book is fairly thick, you won’t be able to see about 10mm of the left hand margin anyway as it won’t lie flat. Select Facing Pages for a symmetrical layout.

Don’t worry about the exact measurements yet, as you can always change them at a later stage.

Section Start allows you to define where page numbers start. If a book is heavy on imported images, it may make sense to split it into separate files and you’ll need to use this. However, I’ve worked on text-based 100-page books in a single file without too much trouble.

Once you’re happy, press OK. Here’s what you’ll end up with on screen (click to enlarge):

If you want to alter the margins — and you can do so at any stage — right click the master page icon on the Page Layout box and select Master Guides.

What you’ll then need to do is add any repeating elements. You’ll probably want to put running heads on the top margins and maybe a graphic element. To get automatic page numbering, draw a text box, click on the content tool and press Ctrl-3. The <#> symbol will appear.

You may well want to put successive chapter headings as running heads on the right hand pages. To do this, simply right-click the master page icon and select copy. Double-click the new icon to display the new master page, then replace the old chapter head with the new one. To apply the new master page, drag the icon over the page icons, which will change from A to B.

Here’s a PDF of a spread I did based on a very similar master page.

Leave a Reply

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>