I have got a A5 flyer of 5 Pages to design in Indesign. The Word Document has 7 Pages of text.

I spent so many hours deciding whats the number of coloums and margins to set so as the 7pages of Word document fits in the 5pages of A5 Indesign file. First tried with body copy size 12 and the default margins 12.7 mm,12.7 mm,12.7 mm,12.7 mm. That didn't work. Then tried with font size of 11.

Can someone please help me out and tell me the right way of planning for this ?

Another issue that I'm facing is I have aligned the text to the baseline grid and now if I have bodycopy size of 11 and headings (16), the headings take an extra linespace and the leading is not correct.enter image description here

  • 2
    5 pages A5? Shouldn't that be 4 pages? or 8? 5 wont' work in commercial printing. What is the goal of the piece? Sales? General information? Often how text is configured (columns, etc) depends on what the goal is. 4 columns may work great for an informational brochure, but horrible for a sales piece.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 16:41

4 Answers 4


To clarify: Is the final flyer/folder going to have a total of five pages? If so, how are you planning to get that printed?

The headers: You can also set the grid alignment for first line only, instead of all lines within the same paragraph style.

Margins: Usually the smallest margin is towards the spine or center of a spread, then the top a bit larger, the outer edge a bit larger than that, and the largest margin is at the bottom of the page. If there isn't enough space, you have to adjust the size of the text and/or the margins. Without doing the job for you, there is no way to say what those numbers should be. If the page number is set, then either the content must be edited or you have to use a small enough font to get it all in.

I would start with importing all the content and placing it without thinking about grids and lines, just to get a feeling of how much space it takes and what the sizes and margins should be. Then you can start using time on the details.


I'd go with a 24-column grid to have most flexibility as you can use that divide by 2s and 3s. A 9 row grid should then give you enough rough orientation as you need the vertical grid not that much in your type of project.

With margins you can go with golden ratio (1.618) quite always, like (as an example, to use your own thing, just use different multiplies):
Outer margin: 1.618 cm *2 Inner margin: 1.618 cm *3 Top margin: 1.1618 cm *2 Bottom margin: 1.1618 cm *4

Afterwards you use the lead of your chosen copy typeface as the baseline-grid (you can use pt as dimension there):

The headline, subline etc then must a) have multiplied leads of the baseline-grid or b) the sum of the headline lead plus the bottom-margin must then be the multiplied lead. Example:

Your copytext had a lead of 11.2pt and your baseline also. Your headline should then have a lead of 22.4pt zero bottom-margin, or 11.2pt bottom-margin. Or your headline would have 18.5pt lead, then your bottom-margin should be 3.86pt (because 22.4 - 18.5 = 3.86 )....


If this is a print flyer you probably need to make it 4 or 8 pages. 5 pages doesnt really work in print. Then some ideas:

  • turn off the 'Baseline grid' for the titles. That's something you generally use for body text and NOT everything needs to flow around the baseline grid.
  • paste all your text content from Word to Indesign. Select all the text and play with the font size until it looks like it could fit. Start from 8pt and go up, taking into account the titles you need to increase, the pictures you need to add and some margins that probably need to be left blank.
  • when it looks like it could fit, THEN set up the grid and margins to something easy, not 12.7mm but try round numbers like 8mm or 10mm and a gutter of 6mm.
  • then properly break and flow your text boxes to fit this grid and margins.

Determine the best font size, kerning, leading and number of columns before you add text. Set up your paragraph styles and use them consistently throughout. Guidelines for readability and attractiveness will indicate the correct choices for your application. If it's a print flyer there are proper sizes, and also for type meant to be read on a screen.

Font size should not be determined by content and 8 point type may be too small for a handout. However a narrow font can be legible and save a lot of space.

The final page count is a function of the content length. If you need to keep the page count under a certain number (under 5) then adjust margins and column widths first.

Narrow outer margins can work. Between columns, try low like half an inch, and see if it bothers you. Make them as small as possible and still look good.

Remember when using more columns you lose space at the end of each line. Full page width type is too wide for comfortable reading but 2 columns will lose the least space.

Leading can be reduced as small as possible and still look good. The ligatures from the line above should come nowhere near the letters below. The default leading can usually be reduced.

Pull in the letter spacing (kerning) as close as possible without any 2 letters touching if it still looks good and is legible.

Don't put a space between your paragraphs but bump up the spacing with the "add space before paragraph". 5 points gives clear indication of paragraph break and saves you a lot of space.

Your titles definitely do not need a full space between them. Adjust that with the character line spacing.

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