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When the Document Size Won’t Change


L.S. wrote:

I tried to change the size of a document today, but only the pasteboard would change. Whatever I tried, the document size remained the same, even though the Document Setup size disagreed.

This stumped me for a moment, but then I realized what was probably happening. To understand, think about text formatting: Imagine that you have applyed a paragraph style to some text. If you select the text and change its font, you have applied a local override to the text. In other words, if you change the paragraph style definition, that selected text may not update to reflect that change because the local override is “on top” of the style.

In InDesign, the page size is sort of like a style. When you first create a document, the values (page size, etc.) in the New Document dialog box define the “default” size of that document. But in CS5 and later you can override those values, changing a document or master page size using the Page tool.

If you click on a page with the Page tool and change its size — even just a tiny bit — it will stay that size, even if you using File > Document Setup to change the underlying document size.

The only way to remove the “local page size override” is to click on the page with the Page tool, then use the Control panel (or Pages panel) to change the size of the page to match the document size again. Once it matches, InDesign forgets about the override and the page will follow the document setup dialog box again.

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, CreativePro Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world.
You can find more about David at

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  • Marc Autret says:

    Here is a way to reset ALL pages of the active document to the default page size:

    var doc = app.documents.length && app.activeDocument,
    dpf = doc && doc.documentPreferences;

    if( doc )
    app.scriptPreferences.measurementUnit = MeasurementUnits.POINTS;
    dpf.facingPages &&


    • Steve says:

      Okay, I get the scripts put into the Scripting folder. For some reason, I can’t find the scripting panel in Indesign.
      How do I run the scripts? or better yet, how do I get it to fix my problem?

      • Steve says:

        Okay, I got the scripts in .JSX format, and in the right USER folder for Indesign.

        However, this DID NOT rectify my problem. I’ve checked that all pages are setup the same, and that the page box shows the same. I really need to print this item!

  • Neil says:

    Speaking about size, why can’t I set the size of an object, such as a text box or any object shape when using object styles? Is there some shortcut or trick? What am I missing? Is there a script?

    I imported a word document filled with images, but I would like to resize some of the photos. I thought object style (search and replace) would solve the problem.

    Many thanks…

  • Eugene Tyson says:

    Neil: You can set size with an image frame in the Object Style.

    You can with a text frame – in the Text Frame General Options – tick the Fixed Column width and all your Text frames with this style will be this width. Add columns to this text frame, and a column will be added the width of the Column.

    But you can’t set this for Image Frames. They have to be done manually.

    Although, it’s not a good idea to import inline images from Word – the quality can be quite poor. You are better off getting the original image files in image formats to place instead.

    In some cases, you can save the word file as a .DOCX – and then change the filename extension to .zip – extract the files. And the images are in tact in a resources folder there.

    But it’s not ideal to use Inline images from Word.

  • Neil says:


    Thank you, for answering this somewhat off topic question…I will try your suggestions.

    Many thanks

  • If you are not the “proud” owner of a new word-version, you can open the file in an older word-version and save it as an html-file or open it with OpenOffice/LibreOffice, save it as an .odt-file and then take the same way been written for docx-files.

    IDUG Rhein/Ruhr

  • Tracie says:

    CS6 Standard Student Teacher Addition:
    I am trying to insert, move, and/or delete pages. Each attempt freezes the program and I have to restart, never getting the page order changes I need. I’ve had 4 and 5 versions and never experienced this. What is wrong? Note: Mid-stream project, changed document size from 6×9 to 5.5×8.5 and tried to install new fonts from co-worker unsucessfully. Possible connection?

  • Bobi Vondruska says:

    I’m using Indesign CS5.5 and multiple page sizes in one document. My problem is, when I go to the page pane, click on the page I want to change the size of, click the “edit page size” tool at the bottom of the panel and go to “custom page size” and enter a measurement, the page doesn’t size doesn’t change. What am I doing wrong? When I choose a pre-set page size it works, but if I try to enter specific measurements, nothing happens.


    • Jerz says:

      Bobi Vondruska, When you’re using “custom page size”, after typing specific size, you need to name it and click “add” button. Select defined page size and click “ok”.

  • jacko says:

    I set up a 200 document everything goes well with pictures/text and text flows with no problem automatically creating text frames as I place it. Then I come to page 27 I load the cursor place it on page 28 and the text box comes out a different size. I checked the presets and they are fine

  • Chuck Dupre says:

    I have an InDesign document that in the document set-up says that its 11.25″ x 17.5″ but on the screen the size of the document is 7.25″ x 8.75″.
    Scratching our heads over this one.
    We have opened the document on 2 different machines.

  • Luke Hatfield says:

    Thank you!!

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