Printing Booklets

If you have downloaded a pattern from me on Ravelry, you may notice that the patterns are in two file formats. Which do you use? How do you print? I've been posting my self-published patterns to Ravelry in both e-book form and booklet format. And I've been printing my handouts in booklet form, including a card stock cover. For those of you who have asked how to make a booklet, here's a primer.

First off, the pattern is formatted for half-sheet paper — 5½ × 8½ rather than 8½ × 11 inches. I'm on an iMac using Pages ’09. I set the paper size for my document to half-sheet (5.5 x 8.5 inches) and change the margins to 0.5 inch margins all around. I then write my document in those settings, including automatic pagination in the footer. I had to do a little fiddling with the section settings. The first four pages of the document are their own section and do not have footers. The first page is the front cover, the second page is the rear cover, and pages three and four are the blank inside covers. The remainder of the document is its own section. The footer setting for the interior of the booklet has the automatic pagination starting at "1" but I've checked the option not to show the page number on the first page.

I write the document and save it. Then I choose "print" and "print as .pdf." I save as .pdf. Then I copy and paste so I have two copies of my .pdf. One will become the e-book and the other will become the printable booklet.

When you open Preview on an iMac, it allows you to read .pdf documents. It also allows you to manipulate them. That's how I change the page order.

The e-book version is the pattern pages in order, including the front and back covers. I've deleted the blank inside covers. If you are reading the pattern from a smaller tablet or smart phone, you shouldn't have to zoom in and out as much. The e-book is easy to make, as I simply delete pages 3 & 4 (the blank inside covers) and move page 2 (the back cover) to the end of the document.

The trickier file is the printable booklet. How do you ever get a document into that weird order that creates a booklet? In the drop-down menu in the upper left corner in Preview, I choose "Contact Sheet." This lets me see all the leaves as thumbnails. I then expand or contract the window so the rows in the contact sheet are 4 thumbnails wide. When you start reordering pages, this will all make sense.

The first thing I change is the cover. I change the beginning page order of the document from 1-2-3-4 to 2-1-3-4. Then I need to change the interior. I move the last interior page to make it the first interior page, which is page 5 in the .pdf. I move what was the next-to-last interior page to make it page 8. So pages 5-8 are now the last interior page, the first interior page, the second interior page, and the penultimate interior page. The rest of the swapping is similar, moving pages at the end of the document up into their proper positions. When all is right, I save the file so the pages are secure in their new order. This is the file listed as "booklet" on Ravelry.

So how to print it?
Since my printer does not do duplex (printing both sides), I have to make the paper pass through the printer twice.  Here are the settings:
Copies & Pages
Copies = 1, Collated
Pages  = All
Paper Size = US Letter (borderless)
Orientation = Portrait

Auto Rotate = On
Scale Mode = Scale to Fit
Scale to Fit Mode = Print Entire Image

Pages Per Sheet = 1
Layout Direction = Left-Right-Top-Bottom
Border = None
Two-Sided = Off
Reverse Page Orientation = Off
Flip Horizontally = Off

Paper Handling
Pages To Print = Odd numbered pages or Even numbered pages
Destination Paper Size = Document paper: US Letter (borderless)
Page Order = Normal

If I have the collation setting correct, the booklet prints starting with the cover. This makes it easy, as I can just set the piece of card stock for the booklet cover on top of the paper in the intake tray. (If you print the other way, you have to count how many interior sheets you need and then place the card stock.) I make the first pass using odd numbered pages. Then I flip the whole stack, put it back in the in-tray, and make the second pass using even numbered pages. At the end, I just need to pick up the stack off the printer out tray, staple it in the center with a long-arm stapler, and fold it into a booklet.

For those of you who prefer this spelled out, here it is!

If the pattern is 4 pages long you get:
A piece of paper that has pages 2 & 3 on top, and pages 4 & 1 on bottom.
Cover (possibly heavier paper) on bottom (outside) of stack.

If the pattern is 8 pages long you get:
A piece of paper that has pages 4 & 5 on top, and pages 6 & 3 on bottom.
A middle piece of paper that has pages 2 & 7 on top, and pages 8 & 1 on bottom.
Cover (possibly heavier paper) on bottom (outside) of stack.

If the pattern is 12 pages long you get:
Pages 6 & 7 on top, pages 8 & 5 on bottom.
Pages 4 & 9 on top, pages 10 & 3 on bottom.
Pages 2 & 11 on top, pages 12 & 1 on bottom.
Cover (possibly heavier paper) on bottom (outside) of stack.

If the pattern is 16 pages long you get:
Pages 8 & 9 on top, pages 10 & 7
Pages 6 & 11 on top, pages 12 & 5
Pages 4 & 13 on top, pages 14 & 3
Pages 2 & 15 on top, pages 16 & 1 on bottom.
Cover (possibly heavier paper) on bottom (outside) of stack.

If the pattern is 20 pages long you get:
Pages 10 & 11 on top, pages 12 & 9 on bottom.
Pages 8 & 13 on top, pages 14 & 7 on bottom.
Pages 6 & 15 on top, pages 16 & 5 on bottom.
Pages 4 & 17 on top, pages 18 & 3 on bottom.
Pages 2 & 19 on top, pages 20 & 1 on bottom.
Cover (possibly heavier paper) on bottom (outside) of stack.

Here is what it looks like on my computer, running El Capitan:
I start off by chosing
Paper Size: US Letter (borderless)

I click the menu bar in the middle to display "Layout."
Now I choose Pages per sheet: 2

Since my printer does not print duplex (double-sided), I have to make two passes through the print.
I change the menu bar to "Paper Handling."
Pages to Print: Odd Only
Page Order: Normal
Check the box for Scale to fit paper size.
You can try playing around with the various scaling settings to make the images print larger or smaller.

When I print, I put a heavier piece of paper on top of the stack.
The whole stack runs through, printing odd pages only.
Then I flip the stack and run it again, this time printing even pages only.

A friend recently pointed me to Adobe Reader, which you can download for free from the official Adobe website. If you print .pdf files from this application, you can choose "booklet," and it will automatically print in the correct order. My printer has been a little fussy, so I've also needed to choose "US Letter borderless" from the "Page Setup..." button in the lower left of the printer dialog window to get the file to print at full size. If your printer can't print double-sided, you can print "odd only" and then "even only." If you want to do this with one of my patterns, use the e-book version and add a blank page after the front cover and an addition blank page before the back cover. Once again, you can use a piece of card stock on top of the stack to give your booklet a sturdy cover.


dileep k said...

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Thanks for giving this information
booklet printing

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