Whether you want to create a brochure for an event or multiple copies of a book for a project; figuring out how to arrange pages for booklet printing is essential in the process.
Also read: What is Booklet Printing
This article discusses a few things you need to know about page arrangement and page numbering to print the perfect booklet. It is essential to understand these, so you don’t end up causing unnecessary setbacks in the production of your project.
Our goal is that when you open up your booklet for the first time, every page is perfectly lined up and arranged as expected.
What Is The Order Of Pages In A Booklet?
Setting up the page arrangement for a book can be pretty confusing. There is an order in the arrangement for booklets.
For booklets that will contain content within them (eg magazines, novels, textbooks, etc); there is a common order of the pages, which goes as follows:
- the preliminary matter (or front matter)
- the main text, and
- the end matter (or back matter)
Also, there is a general rule in the order of pages which is that the right-hand page (recto) always has an odd page number while the left-hand page (verso) always has an even-page number. This comes in handy later when we discuss page numbering.
How Do I Arrange My Booklet To Print?
There are three ways to major ways that printing companies arrange pages when printing booklets.
It could either be: Printer spreads, or numerical order aka reader’s spread.
Numerical Order (Reader’s Spread)
Readers’ spreads show consecutive pages in two-page spreads. They are in the correct order for someone to read the booklet.
The layout of each page is in numerical order and is presented in the exact order they will appear in the finished booklet.
For example, If your booklet is 32 pages long, you’d create one file containing all 32 pages. This includes every single page, even entirely blank ones.
This method is often the recommended method of arranging your booklet for printing because it gives you an accurate visualization of how the final page layout will look once the book is bound and done.
Printer Spreads display the booklet’s pages as they will print side-by-side on a sheet. The spreads are not in consecutive page order or numerical order.
Instead, they appear in an arrangement that will allow them to end up in the correct numerical order once the pages are folded and bound.
A printer spread may not be as popular as a reader’s spread, but it does have a few advantages, including its better alignment for large pictures that don’t fit into a single page.
Page Count Explained By Binding Type
Choosing the page count for your book may get complicated depending on the binding type you’re choosing. The most common is saddle stitch, but many other common binding types will influence page count.
Let’s get right into it:
Magazines, brochures, and comic books are common examples of booklets that use the saddle stitch method. Saddle stitching is when single sheets of paper are folded in half; one inside the other, and then “stitched” through the fold line with wire staples.
Since the pages are folded in half, that means that your booklet page count must be in increments of four. There is an 8-page minimum and a 92-page maximum with saddle stitching.
It is among the cheapest and most common methods of bookbinding.
Novels, textbooks, and journals are common examples of booklets using perfect binding.
Perfect binding is when single sheets of text-weight paper are printed on both sides and collated in page number order, one on top of the other. The sheets are cut down to your trim size, and then the edges are ground down.
There is a minimum of 28 pages with a maximum of up to 2 inches thick, and you must have page counts in increments of two.
Jotters, school projects, and book souvenirs are common examples of books that use a spiral binding style.
Spiral binding is when single sheets of paper are printed on both sides, cut down to trim size, and collated in page number order. The binding edge is hole-punched, and the durable spiral coil is passed through the holes.
There is a minimum of 8 pages, a maximum of up to 2 ¾” thick, and the pages must be in increments of two. Also, in this style, you cannot print on the spine because they need to be punched to ut the spiral coil through.
Reports, cookbooks, and maintenance manuals are some common examples of what a wire-o binding looks like. Wire-O binding is when single sheets of paper are printed on both sides, cut down to trim size, and collated in page number order. The binding edge is hole-punched, and a professional-looking metal wire is used to bind the pages through the holes.
There is an 8-page minimum and a maximum of up to 1 ¼” thick. Pages must be in increments of two.
Just like with spiral binding, the spine is punched and, therefore, cannot be printed on.
Numbering Of Inside Pages
Another tasking thing to navigate in booklet printing is knowing where to put the page numbers for the inside pages.
The easiest way to know which edge (recto or verso) the page numbers should be on is to put even page numbers on the left(verso) side of the page and odd page numbers on the right side(recto) of the page.
It’s important to also keep in mind that the inside-page numbering does not correlate to the number of pages you will see in the print-ready PDF on your computer.
How To Choose Print Settings For Booklets
When you’ve got your booklet arrangement figured out, and you’ve chosen your preferred binding type; it’s time to get down to printing.
Here are a few steps to help you when printing a booklet in pdf from your computer:
- Open print settings. Run any PDF reader app of your choice and open its home page.
- Click the open file button and select the “File” tab option to upload your PDF file to the app.
- After uploading your file, open the print menu by clicking on the print option
- On the “Print” menu, choose the printer and page size that is best suited for your booklet. Now click on “Print Mode” and choose the “Booklet” option.
- From the booklet setting, choose your booklet subset by clicking on the booklet subset option. Choose the option to print on both sides.
- Click on the “Booklet” tab to select your preferred binding option.
- Finally, when you are done adjusting all the settings to your specification, locate the print button and click.
If you’re printing a booklet for the first time, it’s normal to panic, but hopefully, this article demystifies booklet printing page arrangement.
Also, If you want to ensure that your page count will be correct, you can use an online booklet design tool to visualize what your book will look like once printed and be sure if your binding type is suitable for your page count.