I am designing a template for 6 2.5" x 5" flash cards on an 8.5" x 11" landscape orientation in InDesign to be printed at a print shop. There is a front and back side design and they are aligned properly and have proper margins of 0.25" on each side. No bleed is set and will be cutting these manually.

My question is how do I set the document to print properly? When it prints, the document is ever so slightly off for the back side of the design. The design looks right in Indesign and the PDF looks right, but when it prints the double sided document is off due to the design having a border on the front and back side along the edge of the flash card.

I also see documents for size A4, would this help any?

Thanks. I don't know what I am missing and it is a perfectly good design file up until it is printed.

2 Answers 2


Printing presses are unlike your office printer. Presses are specifically designed to align pages, your office printer is not.

See here: Two-sided printing: exact positioning?

If your InDesign document is set up with proper page sizes and object alignments, they should be proper when a print house reproduces things. Front and back sides will rarely, if ever, align properly on an end-use printer.

  • Thank you. I will refer to the link provided. :) I have been trying to fix this for days, but this makes sense if it is printed commercially. Apr 23, 2018 at 18:34

Create the InDesign file with the size of the document set to the exact size of the trimmed piece (2.5 x 5). Submit the InDesign or PDF, and the printer will do the imposition to determine the best way to lay it out on the page.

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