I'm using Indesign. For work I have been asked to put together a magazine to be distributed digitally. As I'm in the planning stages and figuring layouts I'm trying to determine if I should just design all single page layouts for digital or if 2 page layouts where images and text are spread across both pages works. I understand that for I-pads there is no issue. But for those reading on their phone they will not get the impact of 2 pages spreads. Should I just design the two page spread and ignore those who might not get the impact of the two page spread?

3 Answers 3


I set up as single pages.

You can then use Acrobat to set the display of the PDF to "Spreads with a Cover" by default. That allows the PDF to open as you want on large screens, but also allows the user to change how the PDF displays if necessary.


Remember, you can orient a mobile phone sideways and view the little screen in letterbox. Granted, it’s small but might be adequate for viewing a two page spread every so often. However, if the magazine is not going to be printed by your company, then single pages is the way. End users, if they print it out at all, aren’t going to print on 11x17 paper or in a way that will capture the intended 2-page aesthetic. There, I’ve said ‘yes’ to both options.



If the document is specifically intended for digital use, you should not build this with a "spreads" page distribution.

You can have the INDD document setup as single page or spreads, that does not really matter, but the PDF export should be in single pages and you should avoid breaking pictures or content across pages in a single page purpose document.

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