I have a new document with one A-Master page (InDesign 2020, most current version).
This double-page spread has a header box at the top (not primary text) and below it the Primary Text Frame (with primary text frame 'yes' in the document set up).
First, I create a new page in the document and format it as A-Master. Then I copy/paste approximately 5,000 words from Word and it automatically threads the text into the document, creating new A-Master pages like it's supposed to.
The problem is that after the first page, which observes the header box and Primary Text Frame Margins, the rest of the auto-flow A-Master pages ignore the A-Master layout and put a full primary text box (filled with the running text) on top of the A-Master boxes, writing over the header box.
The A-Master does not have two text boxes on top of each other. The A-Master Primary Text Box is turned on.
Note: in the attached images, I offset page 303 to show the A-Master text box beneath the overlaid auto-flow text box.
What is happening?
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Change your top margin to meet the top of the main text frame, make sure the master frames are touching all the margins guides, and make sure the two main frames are linked on the master pages. That should solve your flow problems.
I'm not exactly sure what you want in the header box, but you can using running headers and custom text variables.
Thank you for the quick reply, reducing the page margins to match the primary text box is solving the problem. The title and page number are in the header box and working fine.
But shouldn't an A-Master primary text box be able to work within page margins? Like, centered in a square box for instance with white space around it? Or flushed left or right?
I am a beginner with this so I appreciate the explanation.
The short answer is "no".
A longer answer is that, as you have found out, primary text frames are a little different. They self-adjust to page margins by default. Page margins should never include any header or footer space.
By the way, you can still have auto-text flow without primary text frames by adjusting your settings. However, I have found this problematic for many layouts. I limit my text flow to just the primary frame in most jobs for the better control.
Thank you. Since I'm doing mostly primary text autoflow of my long novels this does seem to be the best way to do things. And I now know that page margins should never include any header or footer space!