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Feb 24 / Rupak Ganguly

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,

booklet_printing_1

 

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:

booklet_printing_2

 

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:

 

booklet_printing_3

 

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!

33 Comments

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  1. Joshua / Jun 26 2013

    This has been probably the single most helpful piece of information I’ve read in months. Thank you so much. I struggled trying to print a booklet in WORD for weeks, and after reading this I was able to do it instantly as a PDF. Terrific!

  2. Timoer / Aug 28 2013

    Brilliant advice. I struggled for hours before I read this. Thank you!

  3. Barbara Nixon / Sep 16 2013

    Thank you for this tip! I was struggling with creating a booklet for my presentation notes, and this worked perfectly.

  4. Jerry / Feb 22 2014

    You are an absolute life saver! Thank you ever so much.

  5. Rupak Ganguly / Feb 23 2014

    Jerry,
    Glad to hear that it helped you get your job done.

  6. LindaA / Feb 26 2014

    Well, I have already spent gazillions of hours. I am going to try your idea and if this works, I nominate you as THE MOST HELPFUL PERSON ON THE PLANET. I really hope that it works….

    Here goes:)

    • Rupak Ganguly / Feb 26 2014

      Hi Linda,
      Glad to hear that this is being helpful for so many of the folks. I would be really curious to know if it worked for you. Let me know by another comment.

  7. Allan / Feb 26 2014

    It was a very helpful guide, really good

    • Rupak Ganguly / Mar 11 2014

      Hi Allan,
      Thanks. Glad to hear that, my experience helped you to save some time :)

  8. anne / Apr 10 2014

    how come when I printed, only odd number anre printed? how will i print the evan number at the back of the odd number pages?

    • Rupak Ganguly / Apr 10 2014

      Hi Anne,
      Just read this part of the post:

      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.

      Let me know if it helps.

      Thanks.

  9. Tomm / Aug 3 2014

    Thank you, you found the answer. However, when I went to print the booklet it printed in a condensed (small) print, not filling up the pages as it is in the preview. Don’t know how to fix this.

    • Rupak Ganguly / Aug 11 2014

      Tomm,
      Thanks. Good to hear it helped you.

      • Kimberly / Oct 19 2015

        Looks like I have the same question as Tomm….

  10. Katherine Levine / Aug 3 2014

    Hours wasted until I found this. Pinned on my Writer’s tips which then goes to Facebook and Twitter. Thank you so much. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/147141112800755479/

    • Rupak Ganguly / Aug 11 2014

      Katherine,
      You are very welcome. I saw my father struggle and hence figured it out and then wrote the post to share with others. Glad it helped you.

  11. Mike L / Sep 1 2014

    Great tip (using Adobe). My HP 3520 took care of the flipping for me.

  12. Rebecca / Oct 10 2014

    I am so, so grateful to you for posting this. Two days and so much paper and ink and frustration before hand, and then magic. Thank you so much!

    • Rupak Ganguly / Oct 10 2014

      Hi Rebecca,
      I am glad that it worked for you. I had my share of frustration before I dug in to crack the mystery. It is satisfying to see I have many others.

  13. chloexy08 / Oct 20 2014

    this totally worked! thanks a bunch!

  14. Wil / Dec 13 2014

    This is very helpful. Me and fiancee were actually looking for a guide on how to print as a booklet for our missalette.

    Thank you for posting this!

  15. Tightcoat / Mar 14 2015

    I got the WORD document just like I wanted it on 5.5 X 8.5 pages with .5″ margins then saved it as pdf.
    When I printed it is printed with 1″ margins and reduced the font size so the same material was on the same page as the original but in smaller type. I WANT THE LARGER FONT. Can I reduce the margins in the pdf file so the print is larger like in the original?
    How?

    • Rupak Ganguly / Mar 14 2015

      Hi,
      I appreciate your reading my post. Hopefully it helped you. Although, your situation maybe different, you can generically save a PDF by customizing its margins. Here is a screenshot of how to do it.

      I hope you not only enjoyed my post but my help with your question. I have more advise and tips & tricks that I send out in my newsletter to my private subscribers only. If you are interested, you can sign up for the newsletter, from the top bar of the site.

  16. Dan Keohane / May 16 2015

    This was a tremendous help!! Like you say, nothing anywhere (help screens or otherwise) that gave anything close to what I was looking to do (print booklet). This page was exactly what I needed. Thanks!

    • Rupak Ganguly / May 16 2015

      Dan,
      Glad it helped you. Thanks for your kind words. Please register for my newsletter if you like what I write about.

  17. Claudia / May 26 2015

    Thank you soooo much! You’ve have been a great help!

    • Rupak Ganguly / May 26 2015

      Hi Claudia,
      Glad to hear that it helped you. Sign up for my newsletter and spread the word.

  18. Cyndi / Sep 7 2015

    I am interested in making mini booklets. How would I go about printing four on a sheet at a time, so they are mini books. So it should be 4 x 5.5 then folded to be 4 x 2.25″ Thanks!

  19. Kimberly / Oct 19 2015

    Thank you! I’m trying to print my document as a book. Is there anyway to do the booklet setting but have it take the whole page?

  20. Thao / Oct 28 2015

    Thank you very much for sharing! It´s very useful and saved me lots of paper and ink

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