There seems to be a lot of guides out there on how to convert spreads to single pages in InDesign... but what about the other way round?

E.g. I'm currently setting up a brochure (with facing pages) so that it is print-ready (so splitting into single pages). Once it is print-ready I'd still like to be able to export a version of the PDF as spreads.

But there doesn't seem to be a way to go about it? If I try exporting as spreads, the PDF just comes out with single-pages as it is in the InDesign file.

I would have thought this would be an easy feature to implement.

  • 1
    Scott’s answer describes how to achieve what you’re after, but that still leaves the obvious question: why are you laying out a brochure with facing pages as a single-page document? Jul 23, 2020 at 19:05
  • Correct, a spreads document is generally better, because it can always be exported in single page view.
    – Lucian
    Jul 24, 2020 at 7:15
  • I realised after posting this that InDesign now allows us to export spreads as single pages! This never used to be the case, and I've been stuck on an older version of InDesign due to my ancient iMac... now that I've replaced that and upgraded InDesign I can finally bask in this 'export as single pages' glory :D
    – user23891
    Jul 24, 2020 at 8:57
  • 1
    And yes the latest INDD has some new, very useful, features added to the Export to PDF panel.
    – Lucian
    Jul 24, 2020 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


All you need to do is "shuffle" your single pages so they are set up in spreads:

enter image description here

Note: You don't have to use a 2-page master if you don't need variations between the left and right pages. You can use the same master page for all pages if it is appropriate. The animation above, while showing the concept, was originally created to show how to handle bleeds. In that instance a 2-page master was necessary.

This is still configured as a non-facing pages (single pages) document.

Then, even though the document is configured as single pages, you can merely tick the Spreads option when exporting to PDF to get spreads. Or not tick Spreads and get single pages upon export.

Related: How to create a document with alternating (left and right) master pages without working in spreads? although this question was more about bleeds, it's the same overall methodology.

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