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Adobe FrameMaker: Adding a Landscape Page to a Portrait Document

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated: May 22, 2020

Sometimes life gives us very, very wide tables. I always try to squeeze them into my portrait pages. However, sometimes there are just too many columns to fit, and unless I’m going to set the type to a minuscule size, it’s never going to fit.

My solution to this issue is to add a set of landscape master pages to my otherwise-portrait document. It takes a little effort, and I always make sure I have finalized the layout of my default master pages first. If I decide to change header or footer position of the default masters after creating the landscape pair, I’ll have to update those manually.

Start by making a note of some important size and position values.

  • Choose View > Master Pages, and click inside the big (template) frame on the right master page. You’ll need to jot down the dimension and position values of this template frame so that you can match it in a few minutes.
  • Chose Graphics > Object Properties and note the width, height, top and left offsets. For this example, I’ll use a width of 6 in., a height of 9 in., a top offset of 1 in., and a left offset of 1.5 in. Click Cancel.

Now that you know the sizing values, you are ready to create a new set of master pages.

  • Click on the right master again.
  • Choose Insert > Add Master Page. (Prior to FrameMaker 2017, this command was Special > Add Master Page.) Set the Name to “LandscapeRight” and Copy from Master Page “Right” and click Add. A new master page is added to the end of your master pages.
  • With the new master page active (its name appears in the status bar), choose Format > Customize Layout > Rotate Page Clockwise.
  • Control+click to select the Template frame, and press the Delete key to remove it
  • Open the Tool box with Graphics > Tools.
  • Select the Text Frame tool and draw a rectangle in the middle of the page.
  • Choose “Template for Body Page Text Frame” and type in a “B” for the Flow Tag. Leave the Columns set to 1. Click Add.
  • Use Format > Customize Layout > Customize Text Frame to format this new frame to match the one you just deleted. Use the numbers you wrote earlier in the exercise, but invert them. For example, we had a width of 6 and a height of 9, now type in a width of 9 and a height of 6. We had a top offset of 1 and a left offset of 1.5, now type in a top offset of 1.5 and a left offset of 1. Click Set.
  • Now, you’ll need to repeat all of the listed steps to create a LandscapeLeft master. (Recheck the numbers, because they may be different on the facing page.)

The last step is to apply these new masters as a disconnected flow.

  • Choose View > Body Pages.
  • Navigate to the page where you wish to place the landscape table, zoom out to a Fit Page in Window view.
  • Insert > Add Disconnected Pages. (Prior to FrameMaker 2017, this was Special > Add Disconnected Pages.) Enter in the desired number of pages to hold your landscape table, and pick the appropriate master page—either LandscapeLeft or LandscapeRight. Click Add.
  • Don’t be frightened by the warning that follows. You want these to be disconnected pages, so that text from the portrait pages doesn’t flow onto these rotated pages. Just click OK.
  • Now you are ready to go locate the really wide table in the document, cut it from its current position, and paste it onto your new landscape page.

If your table is long enough, it will flow automatically onto a new page. Don’t forget to manually apply the correct LeftLandcape and RightLandscape masters, so that your headers and footers print correctly. When you start using custom master pages, it is your responsibility to ensure their correct usage.

NOTE: If you are using table numbers, you will need to manually number this table and the one that follows it. FrameMaker increments table numbers within a single flow. When you start using multiple-flow documents, the numbers start over with each new flow.

More on working with master pages

Master page basics

Adobe FrameMaker: Master page basics

Using variables in headers and footers

Adobe FrameMaker: Smart Running Heads

Adobe FrameMaker: Even Smarter Running Heads

Adobe FrameMaker: Dictionary-Style Running Heads

Adobe FrameMaker: When Chapter Titles are Too Long for a Running Head

Working with custom master pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Creating Custom Master Pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Automatically Assigning Custom Master Pages

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6 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: Adding a Landscape Page to a Portrait Document

  1. Hi. I’m using FrameMaker 2017, and I followed these steps. My next dilemma is getting the section number and the table number to follow the sequence in the rest of the document. How do I do that? I’ve been searching manually correcting section and table numbers, especially for this scenario, but I’m not finding it.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Miachelle. FrameMaker increments auto-numbers within a single flow, and this post has you create a second flow, called B. If you are going to use a second flow, you will need to manually update the numbers as you move from one flow to the other. For example, if the first table in flow B is the 14th table in the file, then use .


        1. Hi…Ok, I went into the autonumbering formulas for both the Heading and the table, and substituted “n” with the appropriate number that would bring the autonumbering to the correct number, both in the landscape Flow B, and then when the document reverts back to the portrait template (Flow A). It works, but it seems like there is a different/better way to fix it? Is my fix the correct fix?

          1. Miachelle: If you are going to use a second flow, you will need to manually update the numbers as you move from one flow to the other. FrameMaker cannot automatically increment numbers between different text flows.