I'm fairly new to Indesign but I'm already impressed how many tools and option are there to achieve style & layout consistency accross pages (eg paragraph & character styles, master pages and hierachical nesting of these features).

Let me clarify with an example. Suppose that I have defined a simple 3 frames layout, one header, an image and another frame for the image caption. Each frame have their relative position wrt the other 2 frames. Now, what if I want to replicate this "template" in another page area? I know that I could simply copy and paste the 3 frames, but in this way there is no sync relationship among the copies. I'm searching for a way to define a template in such a way that all the edits to this one apply also to the other copies (just like styles).

To recap, I'm just asking if there are good practices that you used to achieve layout consistency accross a single page about the position of frames elements. Thanks!

  • What about the 3 frames do you want updated across pages? Like if you change the width of a frame or move the frame, it would change the frame on all pages? Depending on what you're doing, maybe Data Merge would work.
    – AndrewH
    Oct 1, 2021 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


There are ways of achieving something similar to what you want. But those would be pretty complex to do in Indesign. Object styles allows you to set up styles defining height/width/position of objects. Maybe also using the liquid layout panel. (unless you do something complex like data merge you probably should avoid doing this)

But really, the common way would be to set up a grid in the master page and arranging each page according to this.

Also you can put placeholder elements on the master page and unlink them from the master using cmd+shift+click.

  • Thanks Julian, but maybe I used "template" word with the wrong intent. My goal is not to have a real template to fill automatically nor to replicate the same layout accross different pages. I just want to get consistency on relative positions among some frames (maybe these should be called "gaps"). I coming from Latex typesetting, so maybe a little bit of mindset shift is required to work with Indesign. I'll try with these object styles, seems the right way for my problem. Thanks!
    – Alfonse
    Oct 2, 2021 at 7:01
  • Sounds like grids are the best choice for this: askdesign.biz/blog/2019/05/… Oct 2, 2021 at 12:04

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