What’s A Reflective Object?
The need for reflective objects might not be apparent at first, but we are confident that once you start using them, you will not know how you worked without them!
Simply put: a reflective object is any page item which keeps its page position relative to the spine (whether it’s a text frame, graphic, etc.). Even guides can be set as reflective, so you don’t need to create separate masters just because you need a different set of guides in part of your document.
But Who Needs Them?
When laying out documents with facing pages, design elements which have a distinct position relative to the spine are usually present. While in many situations, creating design elements on master pages is ideal, often it is not. A primary example is master text frames.
The problem with these elements become apparent when pages are added or removed. Very often a recto page becomes a verso page or vice versa. This causes the layout to become reversed. Correcting these pages can be an extremely time consuming process! Defining these objects as “reflective” causes them to take a mirrored position when the page changes sides.
To illustrate this point, we are including two screen shots of a document which uses Reflective Objects for positioning graphic elements in the side bar area. In this document, these elements couldn’t be created as anchored objects because of the text wrap applied to many of them. When the top right page was removed from the figure on the left, the layout on all the following pages was automatically adjusted as shown in the figure on the right. A special thank you to Brad Walrod for providing these illustrations.
Another use for reflective objects is simplifying symmetrical design. Design elements which appear in symmetrical positions on both recto and verso pages only need to be created once. After creating them on one side, they can be copied to the facing page en mass, and each object will take an opposing position to its original!