How to print a document as a booklet
After spending about an hour, reams of pages, and pails of ink, I finally stumbled into the magic of booklet printing. My source document was a MS-Word 2010 document with 18 pages, which I wanted to print as a 2-sided, 2-pages per sheet, booklet on Letter paper. Although, MS-Word comes with an option to print a document as a booklet as shown below,
it is impossible to get it right, the way you expect it. It would print page 1 and 7 one side of the sheet, while you would expect it to print 1 and a blank. Just tried every other possibility, even with odd numbered pages, but I had no luck.
Finally, I was try to do something which made me convert the Word doc into a PDF document, and I found the solution. Acrobat Reader has a Booklet option that works! So here is what I did…
Take the Word document and Save As… a PDF document right from Word. Then open up the PDF document in Acrobat Reader, and click File -> Print. The screenshot below shows the print dialog with the settings highlighted:
As you can notice, the settings are very clear. Also notice that you can see the expected results in the preview but I only wish you could zoom in to see the page numbers. But, what the heck, it works.
The next important thing to remember before you print is that, unlike Word or other booklet printing options, Acrobat Reader will just print all the pages without asking you to flip the page to the other side. It expects that you print one page at a time and then flip it to the other side, and continue so and so forth. When you flip the page, just remember you need to make sure the keep the blank side up, and top side should still be top. To make it easier to understand, I drew a simple diagram:
Now, put one single sheet of paper at a time in the printer, print one side, flip to the other side, print and stack away. After all the sheets are printed, just fold the sheets through the center, stack them in order, staple in the middle, and you have your booklet.
Hopefully you read this post, before you wasted a lot of pages and ink and saved yourself a lot of frustration. Happy printing!