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How do I rearrange my pages into a foldable booklet?

After making a publication you naturally want to print it, probably into the form of a magazine. If you have spreads that you want to print double-sided, then fold and staple down the middle, it makes sense that the first few pages and the last few pages of the document end up getting printed on opposite ends of the same piece of paper. (If you don't understand what this means try printing your publication normally and folding it, and you'll realize that the folding puts all the pages out of order.)

In earlier versions of InDesign there was no easy way to get around this. You could either manually rearrange your pages, thinking through the right order on paper, or you could just print two pages on a piece of paper, instead of two spreads (4 pages on a single sheet of paper).

In InDesign CS 2 and CS 3, however, there is an easy way to get around this frustrating problem. Here's how you do it:

  • When you have finished your publication and are ready to print, go to File, then select Print Booklet.
  • Choose which pages you want bookletized (probably All), then for Booklet Type choose 2-up Saddle-Stitch (search for printing booklet in the Adobe help system if you would like to know more about the other styles.)
  • Uncheck automatically adjust for marks and bleeds if you do not want them to appear on the final printed product (most likely the case).

In InDesign CS2

  • Now check Create New Document in the bottom left-hand corner and click OK. A new document should be made in which the pages are rearranged properly. Take a look and make sure it's correct. Your front and back cover should be next to each other on the first page.
  • Next export the entire document to PDF (make sure you click on 'spreads' when exporting), then print the new PDF document. Under the print settings when you click on print make sure you have selected double-sided printing, landscape (the binding is on the short edge of the paper).
  • Print your booklet from the PDF file, and try folding it to see if it worked, and while you are at it, check for errors or any problems in margin size, etc.

In InDesign CS3

  • Click on Printer Settings. A new window will appear with the standard printing options. Use the pulldown menu at the top to choose a different printer, and pick Adobe Pdf. This will save a PDF of your pages in booklet order to your desktop when you click on Print.
  • Open your PDF file, and print your booklet from the PDF file. Try folding it to see if it worked, and while you are at it, check for errors or any problems in margin size, etc.

Note: Try not to have graphics or frames span spreds. They do not arrange well when printing booklets.

Find the exact step-by-step process for printing your documents on the page of Printing Instructions.

  • schnurs, 18 April 2006

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