Content of pages erased due to applying master page style?

So, a little hickup today. My page Travels,Travels got deleted and substituted for the master page. I must have ticked, or unticked, one of the master page buttons (Use master page Attributes, Use master style, Inherit Style etc in page or box setting. Quite confusing all that), resulting in the disappearance of all the galleries and what have you. As the page is alive on the net I tried to download the files back into Xway, but it didn’t work, probably because of a plist file no being changed.

No way to do the redo function as I must have saved in between, I guess. So I wonder if there could be something, a lock function perhaps, or a never do that suggestion/s from you good people.


Hi Jon,

Undo/redo works across saves (but not if you also close the document).

In addition to undo/redo, it’s worth noting that you can revert to any version that you previously saved via File/Revert To. If you want to keep some of your more recent changes, duplicate your current document and copy/paste from an earlier (reverted) version.

The only thing that could cause you to lose content is if you select Use Master Content for a box. This will revert the box’s content to a master box’s content (as the name suggests). You can’t lose content by reapplying a master style.

Hello Jeremy,

Thank you for that. But I wonder, do you get any time to develope Xway further answering all our queries? (No need to answer)


I’m happy to answer queries, but part of the plan is that people who are currently learning how to use Xway will help out by answering questions from future generations of users!

…or help by asking questions (being answered by someone).

Yes - the idea is that we’re a community and we support each other.

You’re asking questions that other people might have, so that also helps to build a knowledge base for future users.

I have noticed the same issue. I have several sites that I created before master pages were available. Now I want to add a nav menu to the site. I followed thesis steps:

  1. I took my Template page and converted it into a master page by dragging it to Master Pages
  2. I then added a nav menu to the master page
  3. I went to the Home page and chose Master1 as the Master page
  4. All previously created content disappears and had to undo to get it back
    I ended up just copying and pasting the nav menu to each page in the site

Hi Seth,

The problem with copying and pasting a menu to each page is that you will have to make changes on each page if you ever want to change the menu.

The way that Use Master Content works is that it replaces the content that is within a box with content that is derived from a master box, so what you’re seeing is expected behaviour.

The best way to make effective use of master content is to divide your master-page layout into sections: e.g. a header containing shared content, a main section containing page-specific content, and a footer (if needed) containing shared content. That’s how the tutorial (Ambient) document is set up. It’s very easy to add a menu to the header section of the master page in this document, and nothing that is page-specific is affected. Note that this document was adapted from a Freeway template: Use Master Content behaves in essentially the same way in Freeway 6 and Freeway 7 as it does in Xway, so it helps to divide a page into sections whether you’re using Xway or Freeway.

Note that a header section should ideally be given Header type in the Box Inspector, a main section should have Main type (there should only be one main section on a page), and a footer section (if needed) should have Footer type. You can also add additional sections within main (or within any of the other sections) if you want.

If you haven’t used this approach before, you could adapt an existing layout as follows:

  1. Update the master page so it uses different sections for shared content and page-specific content, then repeat the following steps for each site page that doesn’t inherit these changes
  2. Duplicate the site page
  3. Turn on Use Master Content for the pagediv on the (non-duplicate) site page
  4. Copy page-specific content from the duplicate site page into a section that is intended to hold page-specific content (e.g. main section)
  5. When you have copied back all the page-specific content, delete the duplicate page

Feel free to experiment. Xway is much more forgiving than Freeway. If you try something and it doesn’t work, you can easily undo it. If you make a complete mess, you can revert to an earlier version (Revert in the File menu).

Note that Use Master Content operates at a box level: changing the content in one box doesn’t detach content in child boxes.

1 Like

Thanks for that Jeremy. My pages were already set up in the fashion you discussed however because they were originally created using a template page and not a master page the ‘use master content, attributes or style’ checkboxes were not present in the inspector (until I applied the master page) so there is no easy way to just apply a master page to an existing page that already has content. Since the header & footer sections of each page is the same I copied the ‘main’ section content, applied the master page and then pasted the content back in the Main section. Now all pages are set with Master1 and all content is as it should be. Your message as well as reviewing the Master Pages section of the user guide made all this clear and the fix apparent. Thanks again!!