How to make my content stay where I want it?
July 27, 2008 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Adobe InDesign: Why, when moving pages around within a document, will it cause the design elements (all frames, text boxes, graphics, etc.) on the following pages to shift 1/8" to the left or right?

This has been seriously vexing me for 2 years now. I have a 72-page document (magazine) with the master set for a basic 2-column layout for each page, 2-page spreads, small footer on the bottom of the page. Nothing fancy. The column guides are the same size and location on each page.

When I have the pages filled with text, graphics, all my elements; of course sometimes I need to move the pages around. My problem: Often when I move the pages (ie: move page 18 to before page 5, etc.) it will cause everything on a group of the pages after the spot I changed, to shift 1/8" to the left on the left pages, and 1/8" to the right on the right pages of those subsequent spreads.

And the thing is: This doesn't happen *every* time I move pages around (just much of time) . And it doesn't cause the text/graphics/etc. to shift on the entire rest of the magazine; usually just for the next 5-15 ish pages, which varies. I'll have to go and manually move all the elements back within the column guides on the pages that got messed up.

I can't see a pattern for when it happens either: it happens whether I'm moving 1, 2, 3, or more pages (an odd or even number); it happens whether I'm moving pages up or down in the page order. Thinking there was some hidden setting on some of the pages, I've tried deleting all pages, reinserting new blank ones, and rebuilding the content from scratch. Doesn't work.

I know about the "shuffle" option in the pages pallette. And if I turn off shuffle, my text/graphics/etc. seem to stay put when I move the pages around. But then I can't maintain proper 2-page spreads any more.

This is maddening! I've searched MeFi, Google, and InDesign's own help screens to no avail. I'm a self-taught user, so maybe this is a bit of common troubleshooting covered in formal training: But can anyone help me figure out:

1. Why is this happening? Has this happened to anyone else?
2. How to stop my text/graphics/etc. from shifting every time I move a page, and let me shuffle the pages so that I can maintain the 2-page spreads.

I'm using InDesign CS2 version 4.0.5. Many thanks in advance for your guidance, oh wise MeFites!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
it sounds like you have different formatting for left and right-hand pages (or "odd and even"). then, if you move a page up, say, all the intervening pages swap sides (hence the limited range). i don't know in-design, but a little googling says that this is disabled by un-selecting the "facing pages" checkbox.
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 6:22 PM on July 27, 2008

Yep. Uncheck Facing Pages under File > Document Setup.
posted by ottereroticist at 6:27 PM on July 27, 2008

Sounds like the result of the Layout Adjustment feature. It's a big hairy thing to wrap your head around, and I think Adobe's docs can explain it a bit better than I.

Turning off facing pages is kinda a weird workaround, IMO.
posted by Plug Dub In at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2008

(i think what plug dub in is saying, and i agree, is that you should really do your layout so that this kind of re-arranging works correctly. that means locating things using margins, ruler guides etc. if you're self-taught you probably picked up bad habits where you set things "by hand" rather than following a more systematic approach.)
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 6:40 PM on July 27, 2008

I do use the "snap to" feature for the guides and document grid, and I do try to place objects within set measurements from the guides: I guess I don't really know what you mean by "locating things using margins, ruler guides etc."

I tried turning off Layout Adjustment, but it didn't make a difference: objects still shifted outside of the guides. I'd prefer not to turn off Facing Pages: I need to see the pages side-by-side while I'm working and when sending off drafts for review.

I'm aware that taking formal training would be beneficial in the long run: but that's not an option right now, and certainly won't help me get this layout finished in the next day or two. So any additional, real-time, detailed, experiential tips would be really helpful. :-)
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:49 PM on July 27, 2008

as a work-around you should be able to keep facing pages selected, but configure odd and even pages so that they have the same margins (ie the "creep margin" is zero).
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 6:56 PM on July 27, 2008

Thanks for the creep suggestion: That's a new concept for me too. Unfortunately, the creep margin is already set at zero so that doesn't seem to be a factor. Also, both left and right pages in the master are configured the same (as far as I can see): Top and bottom margins .75 in, Inside 0.4375 outside .5625. Columns: 2, Gutter, .25 inch.

But waitaminute: I think I may see what's happening (thanks Not Sure!): Since the Inside and Outside margins are 1/8" different, this would account for that 1/8" shift -- ie: "outside" is the left of the left page, and the right of the right page. Right? If I change the Inside and Outside margins so they're both the same size, would that keep my objects from shifting? I bet it might...

And if both margins are the same size would that cause printing or other issues?
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 7:20 PM on July 27, 2008

that's right - you understand the problem.

that is done (different margins on facing pages) because when you open a book the "inner" edges of the pages look smaller because they're "hidden" where the pages join. it's just an aesthetic thing.

creep is to compensate for the trimming of pages when books are bound, so that's conceptually different (but has the same kind of effect).
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 7:25 PM on July 27, 2008

I appreciate the feedback: It's so obvious -- I can't believe that the inside/outside margins didn't occur to me long before now. I guess I just figured it must be some arcane alchemical setting only wizards would have the key to. The simple things are always the last places I look!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 7:34 PM on July 27, 2008

Yeah, you know what, I'm full of shit. Facing Pages doesn't do what I thought it did.

Funny, I'm listening to the This American Life about people talking about things they don't really understand!

posted by ottereroticist at 8:19 PM on July 27, 2008

When I've had this happen, the frames that are misaligned are either non-master page items or master page items which have been overridden or detached. Even then, frames are usually adjusted properly for different inside/outside margins when adding or deleting pages.

I just created a test document in InDesign 5 (CS3); an overridden frame in the middle of the document with a changed bottom margin (but still default left & right) was automatically adjusted for inside/outside margins when adding a page at the beginning of the document. I think CS3 may be better about this than CS2 or earlier. I haven't had this problem with my own files for a long time.

You shouldn't make the inside and outside margins the same just to "solve" this problem. If the original template was created by a competent designer, you may be damaging the design by playing with the margins.
posted by D.C. at 9:49 PM on July 27, 2008

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