1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe InDesign

How to Edit Parent Pages in InDesign

Scroll to top
Read Time: 4 min

Curious about how to edit Parent Pages in InDesign? In this quick tutorial, we'll walk through everything you need to know to edit a Parent Page in InDesign.

1. What Are InDesign Parent Pages?

Why Use InDesign Parent Pages

Parent pages are an awesome tool for reusing elements in your InDesign layouts. For example, let's say you want page numbers to appear on each page of your design. You could do it by hand, on page after page, but imagine the time investment if you had 100 pages!

With Parent Pages, you could apply those page numbers to all of your pages, all from one source. When you update Parent Pages, they're applied to all the pages that rely on that parent too.

You can find your Parent Pages at the top of the Pages panel. Go to Window > Pages to open this panel. 

InDesign PagesInDesign PagesInDesign Pages

InDesign Update: Master Pages vs. Parent Pages

But wait—what about Master Pages? From InDesign 2022 (version 17.0) onwards, Adobe has opted to rename "Master Pages" to Parent Pages. It's a new and improved name for familiar functionality. Nice!

2. How to Edit Parent Page Items in InDesign

Step 1

Working with Parent Pages is a lot like working with most pages in your InDesign document. Simply double-click on your desired Parent Page to begin editing it. This takes you "inside" this particular page.

Remember, when you edit a Parent Page, InDesign will apply these changes to all of your pages that rely on that Parent Page.

InDesign Edit Parent PageInDesign Edit Parent PageInDesign Edit Parent Page
InDesign Magazine Template by adekfotografia on Envato Elements

Step 2

There are a few places you can check to see which page you're editing. In the Pages panel, the currently selected page will be highlighted. In this case, notice that I am currently editing A-Parent, a Parent Page.

You can also take a look at the bottom of the screen. Here, it will note what page you are editing. I am currently editing A-Parent.

InDesign Parent PageInDesign Parent PageInDesign Parent Page

Step 3

If I want to create more Parent Pages, you can Right-Click on PC or Control-Click on Mac, within the Parent Pages portion of the Pages panel. 

Choose New Parent to create a new Parent Page.

InDesign New Parent PageInDesign New Parent PageInDesign New Parent Page

Step 4

You'll also likely want to apply your Parent Pages to active pages within your document (like child pages to the parent). In this case, A-Parent is applied to my first spread, and B-Parent is applied to my second spread. My third spread page has no Parent Page applied.

The Pages panel shows us which Parent is applied in the thumbnails.

To apply a Parent Page, click and drag the Parent Page onto the active page where you'd like it applied. It's that simple!

If you don't want a Parent Page applied, click and drag the [None] Parent Page to your active page. Then, it won't have Parent Page items anymore.

InDesign Add Parent PageInDesign Add Parent PageInDesign Add Parent Page

Step 5

When you're working on one of your active pages, you may want to edit Parent Page elements in a single instance. Maybe you want to know how to edit parent page items in InDesign when you're not in the Parent Page.

For example, maybe you want to edit a part of your design that is in your Parent Page, but you only want it to be different on one specific page. By default, we cannot select or manipulate Parent Page content when in our active pages. They're like a background element that we can't select here. 

You can override Parent Page items by holding down Command and Shift on Mac, or Control and Shift on PC, and then clicking on the item you want to edit. Then, you can edit as you would regular content on your page.

Step 6

In addition, you can also access a host of page options via the menu icon in the Pages panel. This includes creating new Parent Pages, duplicating Parent Pages, deleting Parent Pages, and more. 

InDesign Pages OptionsInDesign Pages OptionsInDesign Pages Options

Now You Know How to Edit Parent Pages in InDesign

If you want to edit a Parent Page, InDesign makes it pretty simple when you know where to look. Parent Pages are handy for all kinds of repeating elements in your layout designs. Good luck with your next design project!

Learn More About Adobe InDesign

There's plenty more to learn about Adobe InDesign here on Envato Tuts+. Check out one of these free Adobe InDesign tutorials today.

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Design & Illustration tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
One subscription. Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads