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A Tip for Duplicating Pages

Direct from the obscure-but-useful-tips department: A really easy, quick way to duplicate a page is to hold down the option key (Mac) or alt key (Windows) while dragging the page icon in the Pages panel. However, there is a bit of subtlety to this that you should be aware of. If you option/alt-drag a page to the right of another page icon, you’ll see a vertical bar indicating that the duplicate will be inserted at that position. Note that the hand icon doesn’t feature a “plus” sign in this case to indicate the page is being duplicated, so it looks like the page is being moved. But as long as you hold down the option/alt key, the page will indeed be duplicated.

Note that, even though there is no "plus" sign on the hand icon, page 1 will be duplicated between pages 5 and 6 when the mouse is released.

Even though there is no “plus” sign on the hand icon, page 1 will be duplicated between pages 5 and 6 when the mouse is released.

If you option/alt-drag a page after the last page of the document, you will see a hand cursor with a plus, and no vertical bar, indicating that the page will be inserted at the end of the document.

In this example, page 1 will be duplicated at the end of the document when the mouse is released.

In this example, page 1 will be duplicated at the end of the document when the mouse is released.

Here is where you need to be careful. If you option/alt-drag a page in the vertical zone between two rows of pages, or too far to the right of a row of page icons, the page will be duplicated at the end of the document.

In this example, page 1 will be duplicated at the end of the document when the mouse is released.

In this example, page 1 will be duplicated at the end of the document when the mouse is released.

So if you want to duplicate a page at a specific location in your document, be sure to option/alt-drag the page and move the mouse around until the vertical bar is displayed in the location where you want the new page to be.

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert is a digital publishing consultant and educator, Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Community Professional, conference speaker, lynda.com author, and contributing writer for various publications. His work has taken him throughout North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. During his 30 years as a consultant, his clients have included Adobe, Apple, Target, the United Nations, Best Buy, General Mills, Lands' End, and Medtronic. Follow him on Twitter @gilbertconsult and at blog.gilbertconsulting.com.
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10 Comments on “A Tip for Duplicating Pages

  1. Rebecca,

    Go to the flyout menu in the Pages panel and choose View Pages/Horizontally.

    (You can also right click inside the Pages panel and choose View Pages, etc.)

  2. I’ve been using this trick forever in InDesign, but can’t get it to work anymore. The only way I’ve been able to drag to duplicate a page is dragging it to the new page button, which does not allow me to specify where it goes. Did something change in IDCC?

    • I ran into this problem too. This trick only works if you have one page per spread. If you have multiple pages in a spread it just moves the page, but if you have one page the option or alt key will duplicate the selected page wherever you want it.

      Thanks, this tip saved me a ton of time!

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