Creating and Using Templates with InDesign, Part 3: Pages and Saving

In the last article, Creating and Using Templates in InDesign Part 2, we talked about creating paragraph styles and footers. In this final part, we’ll cover adding an additional page size, adding pages to our file size and then saving our file in the template format.

When dealing with a magazine, you have to consider thickness of the finished product. This basically means that the cover of the magazine will be slightly wider than the inner pages to make up for the thickness of the contained pages. Since the page we already designed is 8.5” by 11” and it contains all of our ad guidelines, we know this is the size for our inner pages. Let’s define it as that by changing the name in the Pages Panel.

To change the name of the Master Page, in the Pages Panel, choose Master Options for “A-Master.”

Mast Page Options


In the Master Options dialogue box, under Name type “Inner Pages” (or whatever you want to name yours!) and hit OK. Now we know that this specific page layout is for the inner pages of the magazine. Let’s create the cover page master now.

inner pages


There are a few ways to create additional master pages in the Pages Panel. One way is discussed here, and another way is by using the Create New Page button if you are in the Master Page section of the Pages Panel. But, for this exercise, we will use the drop down menu and select the New Master Option.

New Master


In the New Master dialogue box, we will name our new master page “Cover.” Before we hit OK, we want to define the dimensions differently because we have to make up for the thickness of the physical magazine. We will change the width from 8.5″ to 8.75”, adding an additional quarter of an inch for this purpose. Hit OK.

Cover Master


As you can see, we now have two Master pages, one for the cover and one for the inner pages.

two masters

Let’s say that we know every issue of the magazine is 36 pages with the cover. Let’s add those pages to our document so that we’ll always have the exact amount of pages needed when we open the template. To add the pages, in the Pages Panel drop-down menu, select Insert Pages.

Insert Pages


From the Insert Pages dialogue box, type the number of pages to be insert (in this case, 35 because we already have a page in the document section). Make sure that After Pages is in the Insert field and choose Master: A-Inner Pages. Hit OK.

Insert Pages


If I right-click on the Pages Panel and choose View → View Horizontally, I can see that I now have 36 pages in my document.

36 pages

But there are still a couple of issues with this that need to be fixed before we save it. First, we want the first and last pages to be Cover pages, and secondly, we want the last page to be right hand facing, not left. If you think about how the magazine will open, it seems to make sense to have the last page sitting like the back of the cover.

To change the last page from left to right hand facing, make sure that Allow Document Pages to Shuffle is unchecked in the drop-down menu, then simply press and drag the page to the right until a small vertical line appears next to it and let go.

Allow Document Pages to shuffle





press and drag

To change the first and last pages to the Cover page size, press and drag the cover page from the Master Page section to the Document Page section atop the first, and then last page.

press and drag

InDesign will tell you that the pages are different sizes, but we already knew that so click Use master page size.


Now that we have all of our pages set up, our guidelines and style in place, let’s save this as a template!




To save our file as a template, under File on the Menu Bar, choose Save As.

Save As

In the Save As dialogue box, be sure to designate the location where you want your template to exist, name it, and most importantly, under Format, choose InDesign Template.

Save As Template

And that is it! You have created a template!

If you need to make any changes to your template, you can always open up the file, make the needed adjustments and resave as a template. When using it as a template, be sure to save your file as an InDesign document as to not destroy your template.

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