How-To: Mutiple Page Sizes In One File
QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign are great when it comes to designing flyers or books, but what do you do when you find yourself with a job which requires a multi-format, multi-page layout? For instance, a client approaches you with a real estate presentation consisting of a 2-page vertical (portrait) Letter-size property listing, plus a horizontal (landscape) Letter-size road map, and a landscape Tabloid-size area map tacked on for good measure. In essence, you’ll need to compile a set of individual documents of various formats to be output, either to print or PDF, in your favorite layout application. But which program should you use?
Don’t panic--both Quark and InDesign can create and juggle many loose documents as a Book Project to be printed or exported to PDF, but each application will also allow you to produce a multi-format job as one document. Here’s how:
Of the two, InDesign lets you create only one page size per file [Fig. 1]. You can then increase the horizontal size of your “pages” by creating spreads to the size of the page you need [Fig. 2]. So, with an 8.5x11 inch original page size, you can create additional “pages” in increments of 8.5 inches--8.5x11 to 17x11 to 25.5x11 and so on.
To create larger “pages” in the layout, make sure that Facing Pages is off and create spreads in the Pages Palette by clicking the Create New Page button at the bottom of the palette or dragging a page from your Master Pages onto the Palette. Select each of pages in the Pages Palette you want to turn into spreads and turn on the Keep Spread Together option from the Pages Palette flyout menu. Move the pages in the Palette next to each other so they form spreads to create your multi-format pages and have at it! You can now use each spread as a separate page in your project and when you’re done, you’ll be able to print these spreads from InDesign as individual pages at whatever size you set up.
Quark will let you do the same trick, but with one significant difference: your final output will be sized at the largest page size in the document. None of your work will be reformatted, just the Letter-size listing will print at the dimensions of the Tabloid-sized map.
If taming the Pages Palette isn’t your thing, Quark (version 5 and up) lets you create multiple Layout Spaces within each project [Fig. 3]. You can create as many as 25 separate Layout Spaces, each with a different size and type (Print or Web), all in one document! The drawback though is that you’ll only be able to output from one Layout Space at a time.
In the end, the page-layout application you use depends on your taste and your project. Both Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress allow you to put together multi-format multi-page documents in one file, but each one gives you this ability in slightly different ways. InDesign provides the easier output ability, but limits you to using page sizes in increments of your original layout. Quark lets you create multiple page sizes in one file using Layout Spaces, but limits your output ability to one page or PDF at a time.
Whichever application you choose, be sure to determine what your final output needs are before you set out to design your project.
Vadim Litvak spends his days as a mild-mannered Corporate Graphics Specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area, but by night becomes the equally mild-mannered principal of Eastern Block Design. He’s a published poet and event promoter who’s recently refocussed his pursuits to better benefit his two loves: Design and Family. Some of his work can be found online at www.easternblockdesign.com.