1.d. The axure masters palette

How to create axure masters, the different drop types, and why and when to use them

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Video 4 of Part 1: Introduction to the Axure 7 User Interface

Video Transcript

Below the widgets pane we have the masters pane. Masters are objects that we want to distribute across the project, but we want to have one point of control, so if we edit the ‘master’ instance, the edit is reflected across all instances of the object. Masters can be organized much like pages, indenting and so on to indicate relationships – useful for you, and for others when they pick up your work. Examples of where you may want to use masters are for icons, logos, and page level elements like header & footer menus. There are some slight exceptions to this rule, like with menus, because often we want way-finding features in menus, where they are slightly different between different pages, this requires some advanced techniques to show changes to menu masters in certain circumstances. We’ll go into this later.

Create a master

We can create a master by clicking the new master button, or we can also select a widget, and convert it to a master with a right click. You’ll need to choose a name for your master. You’ll notice a red sheen over the master now. this This is the UI’s way of showing us it’s a master. To open our master you can double click it – or you can double click a master from the listing in the masters pane. You’ll find the master opens in a tab, much like a page! You can do pretty much anything in a master that you can do in a page, but there’s some exceptions. They are very powerful in that respect.

Master drop behaviour

Whereas in previous versions you had different types of master, in v7 this is more accurately defined as Drop Behavior. Right click the master in the pane listing to see this option.
The first option in the list is Place anywhere, and is the default behavior for a master. This allows us to place the master where we want in the various pages we may want to deploy it.
Choosing lock to location from Drop behavior allows us to specify that the master always drop in the same place location on the page – useful for page level elements, when you have a like a header, breadcrumb or menu, which always appears in the same place.
‘Break away’ effectively means the object dropped loses it’s reference, or breaks away from it’s master reference when it is dropped – it’s no longer a master. Any future changes made to the master are not applied to instances which have already been dropped. This can be a bit confusing, terminology wise because these objects behave more like a widget than a master, indeed in v6.5 these object types were called Custom Widget Masters..

Master usage report

The usage report for masters, accessed with right click in the pane, it shows you the pages where the master is deployed. This only works for true masters, and not break-away masters. This feature can be really handy when your prototypes are on the larger side, and for other collaborators, like designers and developers.

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