Or how to print a folded booklet with numbered pages half
the size of your paper
Article contributed by
Suzanne S. Barnhill
One of users’ most common “complex”
requirements is to print “booklets”—that is, to print two logical pages onto
each side (front and back) of a physical sheet of paper in such a way that the
pages can be stacked, folded, and stapled into a booklet. There are several ways
to approach this task:
Some printers have built-in
booklet-making capability. If your printer can do this, you will find a
setting for it somewhere in the printer Properties.
Over the years, there have been
several third-party add-ins for Word that can create booklets. Among those
that are still available are
from Blue Squirrel Software and
FinePrint. Both offer free
Word 2000 introduced a “2 pages
per sheet” feature that goes a long way toward creating a booklet provided
you print the pages in the required order. A Word user, Richard Keijzer,
took advantage of this feature to create
printing macros, which are free.
Word 2002 and above (but
not Macintosh versions) include a “book fold” feature
that allows you to create a booklet within Word itself.
If you have a version of Word earlier
than 2002 (or any version of Macintosh Word) and don't want to spend money on an add-in or use VBA; or if you have
found the “book fold” feature unsatisfactory, and you are willing to do a bit
more work yourself, here is the method I use. I've produced booklets up to 100
pages long this way, and it works quite satisfactorily for me.
The following instructions are given for Word 97 and 2000. If you want to use
this method in later versions, it works just the same way, but the Page Setup
dialog is laid out a little differently.
Set up your document by first choosing
Landscape orientation on the Paper Size tab of the File | Page Setup dialog.
Select “Mirror margins” on the Margins tab.
When you do this, the margin measurements for “Left” and “Right” change to
“Inside” and “Outside.”
Set the margins you want for your half-size
page. If your booklet is to be “saddle stitched” (stapled in the center),
you may want a slightly larger margin on the outside to allow for trimming.
Now set the “Gutter” measurement to half the
width of your paper. If you are using US Letter, this will be 5.5"; for US
Legal, it will be 7". For European A4, this would be 14.85 cm (or 5.85"),
and 21 cm (or 8.27") for A3. You can see from the diagram in Page Setup that
the text area of your page will alternate from right (odd or recto pages) to
left (even or verso pages).
As you will have figured out, this will give you one page
per sheet, alternating right (odd pages) and left (even pages). Not to
worry! Enter your text sequentially, page 1 through the end. The total
number of pages must be divisible by four, so you may need to add blanks at
the end. (You can either leave them entirely blank or print “Notes” or some
such at the top.)
To print, select “Odd pages” (at either the bottom-left or
bottom-right of the Print dialog, depending on your Word version).
After you have printed all
the odd pages, return to the Print dialog and select “Even pages”, and click
the “Options” button in the Print dialog and check “Reverse print order”
(remember to uncheck this when you've finished).
Feed your printed pages
back through the printer to have the second page printed. You will find that
(supposing you have an eight-page booklet) page 8 prints on page 1, page 6
on 3, and so on. This will give you camera-ready copy if you're planning to
reproduce your booklet by printing or photocopying. If you're planning to
duplex the pages yourself, you'll need to figure that out from here (you'll
end up with two copies of the booklet per print operation, obviously). If
you are using Word 2000 and do want to duplex; and if you don't fancy
sending your paper through the printer four times, you might want to look at
booklet-printing macros, which can duplex in two passes rather than
You may find that there are some problems with printing specific pages
(especially in longer booklets) using the “book fold” feature, although printing
the whole file works fine. You may also find that "Inside" and "Outside" margins
are reversed. The latter is easy to work around by reversing the margin
settings; the former may or may not be a show-stopper for you. If it is, you can
still use the method discussed in this article or in the article “Macros
for booklet printing.”