Tuesday, January 04, 2011

If Master Object Options Are Greyed Out

A reader writes: 

I'm creating a brochure template in Pages and trying to 'place a master object', but the object placement in Format/Advanced is set to 'make master objects selectable' and this along with 'move object to section master' are both greyed out. I also tried 'Inspector - Wrap' all items here are greyed out also. I cant change these settings. I've tried various things but nothing is allowing me to change these options. Please help.

Don't panic: it looks like you are in 'Page Layout' mode. 

Open any document in 'Word Processing' mode and you will see that the options you want are all available. 

If you are creating a new brochure from scratch, open a new document in Word Processing mode and copy/paste what you've already done into the new one. If you are modifying an existing template, copy/paste the elements you want into the document created in Word Processing mode.

I know it sounds silly, but it works.


  1. This looks like exactly what I was looking for except for one thing. How do I open a document in 'Word Processing' mode? This feels like a dumb question, but I honestly can figure it out.

  2. When you open a new document, template chooser should open too prompting you to choose 'blank' from either Word Processing or Page layout. Click on 'blank' under Word Processing.

    If template chooser isn't set to open with every new document, under File menu choose 'New from Template Chooser', or type Shift+Command+N.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Anonymous12:11 am

    I don't follow, either. How do you open an *existing* Pages layout document in "Word Processing mode"?

    How do you put Master Objects on your beautiful magazines?

  4. I suggested opening a new document in Word processing mode, not an existing one. Then transfer your work from the document where you got stuck to a new one. This is sometimes easier, than beating your head against the wall.

    To your second question, I honestly never think of Master Objects or layout or word processing modes when I put together a page or a double-page spread. It's when a certain layout is repeated from one project to another or, say, from issue to issue, I apply to pictures Define as media holder. One example is the Contents page where three photos with the same dimensions sit in a horizontal row. In a new issue I just drag the new photo to the placeholder and slightly adjust the visible part.

    I've just checked again to compage Word processing mode and Page layout mode (iWork'09). The difference is still as described in the letter that I quote in the post. Don't ask me why.

  5. Stumbled upon your blog when searching for this very question. What happens when you choose a blank document from Word Processing (iwork 09) and the Arrange > Objects is still greyed out. Inspector selection under Object Placement is also greyed out. I'm trying to create labels with some of the text inside the label flipped and I can't find a way to make it work. Yes, I'm in Word Processing. Suggestions?

  6. The first thing I can think of is that you haven't imported (created) any objects in your document yet?
    Once you've created a text box, a shape or imported an image, the options become available (black.)

    To create flipped (inverted, like in a mirror) text turn it into an image - make a screenshot or export to PDF. Then import into your document and flip.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Anonymous12:28 am

    Select the thing you want to change, then choose Arrange > Unlock

  8. as said: this is much simpler
    Select the thing you want to change, then choose Arrange > Unlock

  9. I am trying to create a template with text boxes that my students can type in but can't move. Would I be better to use Master Object or another option?

    1. Nicole, I think your best option would be to use a table.
      I Table Inspector you can make invisible the borders of the cells with your text, e.g. questions, problems, tasks, but leave the borders of the cells to type in answers visible. That way the page will look like a body of text and a selection of text boxes that can't be moved.


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