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One step in the workflow of editing a 300-page multi-chapter book in Adobe InDesign CC that I don’t enjoy is the tedious and error-prone manual process of assigning a distinct Master Page (one with a different running header, to implement Chicago Manual of Style §1.16) and setting Start Section (to restart footnote numbering, to implement Chicago Manual of Style §2.22) to some of my pages.
I have five page masters: front matter without folio, normal front matter, end matter, regular pages, and chapter titles. I can assign the front and end matter masters easily enough by hand. Most of the remaining pages will have the regular master style, but I want to do these things:
assign the Chapter Title master page, and
set Start Section
for each page that either
contains a “Chapter Title” paragraph style element, or
is a blank page preceding a page containing a “Chapter Title” style element.
Whenever I add or delete a page, I have to riffle manually through my 300-page book again, clicking several times per page for several pages.
Is this the kind of thing that I should be able to automate in InDesign CC?
It can't be done natively with InDesign. InDesign has no way of linking master pages or document sections to paragraph styles.
There are a few ways of applying master pages in InDesign: Dragging a master page onto another page in the pages panel. Or, from the flyout menu of the pages panel, choosing "Apply Master".
However, there is no built-in way of applying master pages to live document pages in InDesign based on the paragraph styles applied to the text on those live pages.
Ditto with sections. To apply a section to a page in InDesign, right-click on the page in the pages panel, and click on "Numbering & Sections Options". But again, no way to link a new section to document page based on the style applied to paragraphs on that page.
On the other hand, InDesign comes with massive scripting and automation capabilities. And with scripting, this can be done.
For instance, you could set up a text search for a specific paragraph style:
At this point, you have a handle to the page you're after, and you can apply any master page you'd like to it.
However, it's not really quite so simple. Not every text paragraph in a document has a parent text frame (for instance, overset text), and not every text frame has a parent page (for instance, text frames on the pasteboard).
However, the above code should help to get you started, if you know how to script InDesign.
That is the only "native" (or semi-native) way of linking paragraph styles to master pages, and sections to paragraph style in InDesign.
So, not so simple.
However, there are commercial add-ons for InDesign that do this all for you, and if you are not a programmer, you may consider investing in such an add-on, as it can save loads of time.
I, naturally, would recommend my own, as it is the most sophisticated such product out there, and used by top world publishers: [Mastermatic].