I'm pretty new to all this so bear with me.

I want to print a portfolio for a school assignment and I want it to be saddle-stitch binding. I also want the Portfolio to be A4 landscape. I've seen a lot of A4 portrait saddle stitch options but not any for landscape. I did a test run. It ended up cutting the pages in half to fit a portrait template. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

also when printing is there a specific paper size I need to get to achieve this specific design.

thank you.

  • 2
    This is always a bit tricky to automatize in inDesign. And you might have a problem with the paper size. To make A4 landscape saddle stitch you need to be able to print on paper which is 594 x 210 mm. That's a large sheet. A3 can only be used for A4 portrait saddle stitch. Do you see what I mean?
    – Wolff
    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:10
  • 2
    If you only have access to A3 print, you have no other other choice than to print ordinary front/back (not booklet) on A3 and cut the pages individually. Then you'll have no binding but have to find a way to keep the sheets together :-(. A commercial print shop would be the easiest solution.
    – Wolff
    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:25
  • I agree with @Wolff, a commercial printer would be the best option. Since scaling would affect both the width and height.
    – nocturns2
    Mar 18, 2020 at 15:19
  • Also, after the signatures are folded and collated, the open edge of the book would have a horizontal v shape the would need to be trimmed.
    – nocturns2
    Mar 18, 2020 at 15:23

3 Answers 3


Here's a solution.

Resize the width so it fits within A3/A3+ longer side size (420/450mm).

The printers can not print to the edge, so you need to subtract 1cm from the width. Now you get a maximum width of 440mm. Let that be your longer side. Resize the shorter side proportionally.

You will end up with your original design scaled down for some percentage.

Remember to arrange your pages properly.

Was this helpful? Do you have other questions?

  • Hi and welcome to GDSE! Have you seen my comments on the question above? The OP wants saddle-stitch binding, so it's necessary to print as spreads. But A4 landscape spreads doesn't fit on A3.
    – Wolff
    Oct 20, 2019 at 11:52
  • Hi Wolff! Thanks! Yes, I've seen it and what you say makes sense. 297 times two is equal to 594mm. Yes, it's large and does not fit on A3+. That's why I'm suggesting to resize it a few percents so it fits on the A3+, so you can print it with no problems. Or to find a place where they can do larger sheet printing.
    – guest2000
    Oct 20, 2019 at 14:40
  • 1
    Yeah OK, but it has to be resized to about 74% scale then (440 / 594).
    – Wolff
    Oct 20, 2019 at 14:46

You want to print an A4 landscape saddle stitch booklet.

Let's make sure we use the same terminology here:

  • Landscape means a format which is wider than it's tall.

  • A4 landscape has the dimensions 297 x 210 mm.

  • Saddle stitch is a binding method where you print properly imposed spreads, layer the printed sheets on top of each other, stitch the sheets together, fold the sheets on the middle along the spine and finally cut the booklet down to the trim size.

I don't think the problems you are facing has anything to do with any setting in InDesign or on your printer. Most home or office printers simply can't print on sheets large enough for this to work.

Including bleed, the width of the spreads you want to print is 3 + 297 + 297 + 3 = 600 mm, and the height is 3 + 210 + 3 = 216 mm.

Let's try to overlay the common paper formats:

As you see, the smallest paper format which is large enough to contain the spreads including bleed is SRA2 (640 x 450 mm). Many home printers can only print A4, office printers can often print up to SRA3, but to print larger than that, you probably need to go to a commercial print shop.

So in my opinion you have the following options:

  1. If you have a little money: Order a print from a commercial print shop. This is easy. You just deliver a single page PDF and receive a finished A4 landscape saddle stitch booklet.

  2. If you have access to a printer which can print on SRA4, A3 or SRA3: Print single pages front/back and cut them to the trim size. Find another way to bind them. For example stitch them from the the front, find a place to make a wire-o or use a some kind of plastic spine from an office supply store.

  3. If you only have access to a printer which can print on A4: Print at slightly reduced size to be able to include the bleed and do as above.

  • At least in Europe, even professional offset printing will likely present problems at this size. The printer can print it just fine, but bookbinders typically have 30 x 37 cm as their maximum size, so you won’t be able to get it saddle-stitched. Of course, if it’s a smallish job, you can saddle-stitch it yourself in various ways. Sep 15, 2020 at 18:27

One can, fairly easily, create a horizontal document with binding on the long edge to allow vertical flipping of pages with InDesign. It merely requires one to think a bit different about the overall configuration/set up of document pages and their contents.

Merely rotate the horizontal contents of a page so it's vertical. Or set up a vertical document and then use the page display options to display the pages rotated 90°.

Basically, set up a vertical book with the page contents rotated. That allows you to use the "print booklet" command and get a landscape book.

For Clarity....

This will use non-facing pages that are set in spreads, but it works the same for facing pages. Here is a standard configuration for a traditional saddle-stitched book:

enter image description here

The stitching occurs on the long edge.

Problem: The contents of the pages are vertical. The desire is to have the contents running horizontal, but keep stitching on the long edge, so the final stitched booklet will flip vertically, like a calendar. Like so...

enter image description here

Note the binding, in this case ring binding, is on the long edge. So that's what you need to accomplish with the set up.

In InDesign, highlight the spread in the Pages Panel and from the Pages Panel menu, choose Page Attributes > Rotate Spread View > 90° CW

enter image description here

This will rotate what you see and not any aspect of the layout or construction. This merely shows you a rotated preview rather than the actual vertical preview.

enter image description here

Note the Pages Panel above - the spreads are all still vertical but there's a little "rotate" icon next to the spread to indicate you are viewing it rotated.

Now, simply rotate the page contents to match the spread rotation...

enter image description here

You can then output this file like any standard booklet set up and it will be bound on the long edge and allow for the "calendar-like" flipping vertical.

For demonstration purposes, you can remove the preview rotation at any time by choosing Page Attributes > Rotate Spread View > Clear Rotation from the Pages Panel menu...

enter image description here

And you're back to a standard preview, but now the contents of pages are rotated to match the desired output:

enter image description here

Note that you don't need to remove the rotation once it's been implemented. It's fine to leave the spreads with the rotated preview, they will still output as if they were vertical.

This is all simply a way to alter what you see in order to work more efficiently but still allow standard vertical output in order to allow the "print booklet" command to create a proper PDF for saddle stitching.

If the desire is to have binding on the short edge, there's no need for any custom set up with respect to binding. Merely create document pages which are wider than they are tall. Issues may arise here due to limitations of any output/bindery device - but the "print booklet" command will still create a PDF with anticipated binding on the short edge. For more clarity here, see the answer from @Wolff, where he addresses possible issues with short edge binding.

  • Won't that just give you a portrait booklet with rotated pages? The real problem here is that to print an A4 landscape booklet (the spreads are 594 x 210 mm), you need to have an A2+ printer which most people don't have.
    – Wolff
    Apr 18, 2020 at 13:20
  • No it won't @Wolf -- the binding would be on the long edge... which is what is needed. Just because you view the pages rotated when working the layout, they wouldn't print rotated.
    – Scott
    Apr 18, 2020 at 15:05
  • I might be misunderstanding what you mean, but if the binding is on the long edge wouldn't it be a portrait booklet? No matter which way the content on the pages faces or how the page view is rotated in InDesign. To print a landscape booklet you need the binding on the short edge which seems to be what the OP needs. (I'm nitpicking, but it's kinda what this site is about 😊)
    – Wolff
    Apr 18, 2020 at 15:14
  • I couldn't let this go, so I added an answer ... Please tell me if I'm totally off.
    – Wolff
    Apr 18, 2020 at 17:04
  • @Wolff My assumption was the desire was a "book" which flips pages like a calendar -- vertically. Otherwise, where's the problem? A spread of A4 horizontal pages, which binds on the short edge, is merely a standard InDesign set up... nothing special or complicated.
    – Scott
    Apr 18, 2020 at 21:29

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