A Use For Ghost Frames?

Last week I wrote a goofy post about what I called InDesign Ghost Frames. These are frames on a master page that have no stroke, no fill, and no not allow master item overrides. You can see the frame edges when you’re looking at the master page, but from a document page, there is no evidence that the frame exists. A curious oddity, and no more? Maybe. Then again, maybe there is a practical use.

A few days ago I was reading some people’s complaints about how it’s all too easy to forget you’re working on a master page. There’s nothing inside the InDesign document window that makes it obvious you’re working on a master page. Sure, there’s the page number at the bottom left of the window, but sometimes that can be off the screen, or obscured by other stuff. And if your Pages panel isn’t open, it’s up to you to remember where you are. More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve designed a whole page, placed text and images, and gone to print before I realized I’d put everything on a master page. D’oh! This never happened back in my Quark XPress days, because I had that big honkin’ chain icon at the top of a master page.

InDesign doesn’t have anything quite so honkin’. But with a Ghost Frame, you could make your own BHMPI (Big Honkin’ Master Page Indicator).

You could use any frame. But unfortunately, you can’t use open paths or lines, since both of those are invisible when they are unselected and have no stroke/no fill.

Still, there areplenty of lots of possibilites.

A letter to match the master page prefix.

Or something more exotic, like the Japanese kanji for “master?”

Or even a master Jedi.

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