I'm setting up a template for a document's Cover, Tabs, and Divider Pages. There are photos that need to be on all pages, so I've started with a "Master Master" that has the images and other objects that are needed on each page.

The goal is just to insert the images on the Master Master only. When I do that, the Cover and Divider pages display the new images fine, but the frames are in the same location, and didn't need to be overridden. The pictures on the Tab pages need to shift slightly, so I did override those.

The override of the frames causes the pictures inside to become unlinked from the master (even though the fill color and other frame attributes are still linked).

Is there a way to override image frames on child-masters and still have the photo contained be linked to the master?? Or do I just have to live with placing the images twice (once on a master for Covers/Dividers, and again on a master for Tabs)?

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


As Scott had noted, there's not a way to specify what gets overridden from the master page. That triggered a memory for me, and while it's not ideal, I did find a suitable work-around.

What I ended up doing was still basing my tab-master off the master-master, but instead of overriding the images to re-position them, I overrode and deleted them from the tab-master page. I then used the "Place and Link" option to re-insert the images from the master, and position them as needed.

This way the user just has to place/crop the photos once on the master-master and then update all links! Not completely automatic, but still a huge timesaver from needing to place and size multiple photos on multiple masters.

See https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/linked-content.html for more info on the Place & Link and Link Options. This method would also work if you're trying the reverse (needing to link the size and position but not the content).

  • That's the way to go ^^
    – Vinny
    Dec 8, 2017 at 10:08


If you override master page items, you can't then tell the items to be "the same, but different". Frames/Objects are either overridden or not. There is no "in-between".

You might consider master pages assigned to other master pages. You can apply a master page to another master page the same way you apply master pages to document pages. Setting up a master page for your images, then another master page for tabs, and applying the image master to the tab master may help. But, again, if you override the photos on the image master, it's going to break the link to that master page item.

  • Yeah, I was hoping to use a kind of cascading master, so I could have 5 tab masters (unfortunate but necessary to ensure proper tab placement). Same thing still happens though, if I override, the border will update but not the photo itself.
    – SBBO
    Dec 7, 2017 at 23:42
  • Just posted a work-around if interested.
    – SBBO
    Dec 7, 2017 at 23:59

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