Part of a task I regularly have to do is to place A4 documents into A3 documents. 2 A4 pages side by side onto each A3 page. The A4 documents can be long, so it's a nuisance to have to place, size and position each A4 page. A4 docs across A3 doc

Is there a way using a script or frames to automate this?

I am aware of the script for placing a multi page A4 - PlaceMultiplePagePDF - but this only does 1 pdf page per page of a document.


3 Answers 3


If your end product has to be an A3 InDesign document and/or you want to have control with the layout and for example scale the pages down a bit, you have to either write your own script or do a little bit of clicking like described here.

  • Create a Master page.

  • Make empty frames for the A4 pages. Make sure they have the proper aspect ratio by drawing 210x297 mm rectangles and scaling them to your needs.

  • Set their Content to Graphic (this makes it possible to place content into them by clicking inside the frame).

  • Assign an Object Style to the frames.

  • Enter the Object Style Options, in Frame Fitting Options tick on Auto-Fit and set Content Fitting > Fitting to either Fit Content Proportionally or Fill Frame Proportionally (depending on your needs).

Here is an example with two frames with a border:

  • Insert as many pages using the master as needed (and a few more just in case).

  • Select File > Place and locate your A4 PDF.

  • Insert the pages in the frames on at a time with one single click for each page.

  • Hi Wolff, thanks for the response. A solution indeed, it does simplify it somewhat, a single click on each frame will be great. I think perhaps I am looking for a script, if the document I am putting as an appendix to the main document is 200 pages it still means I have to set up 100 pages an click 200 frames. Still much better than what I was doing so very much appreciated.
    – TFitzG
    Dec 17, 2021 at 14:41
  • Open the Scripts panel and locate Application > Samples > JavaScript > PlaceMultipagePDF.jsx and run it by double-clicking it.

  • Select your A4 file and press OK.

  • In the following dialogue set Place PDF in to New Document and press OK.

Now you have a single page document with all the A4 pages.

  • Enter File > Document Setup and tick on Facing Pages and set Start Page # to 2.

Now you facing pages. Starting with page 2 makes the first page become a left page instead of a lonely right page.

  • Export a PDF in Spreads according to your needs.

Now you have an A3 PDF with all the A4 pages placed side by side.

  • Interesting, yes this does get around a lot of the work, splits it into 2 processes, but much faster. Great, thanks.
    – TFitzG
    Dec 17, 2021 at 14:43

it seems that you need imposition software .. I assume that you need to arrange a bunch of pages in a certain sequence. if you intend to do a booklet (let's say of 8 pages) so that last page (8) is facing the first page (1) and the page (7) is facing the page (2) ... and so on. and you will bind the booklet from its center in our case it will be the centerline of an A3 folding line.

enter image description here

this is a case if you wish to bind a booklet from its centerfold of the A3 paper. here you may need to combine your A4 paper into on PDF file and use one of the imposition software available there are many, some of them are stand-alone like KODAK PREPS Imposition and some of them are just a plugin into Acrobat like Quite Imposing Plus I really like the plugin as it is easy to use.

but if you want just to arrange the photos in a sequence that page (1) is facing page (2) and the page (3) is facing page (4) and so on. you don't need to use the imposition software, even though it is easy the imposition software. bit actually there so many ways that you may achieve the same result, I will name two first, you can print the A4's on an A3 paper using Acrobat PDF and the output could be to the printer directly or to a PDF file

enter image description here

in the above screenshot you may first choose the printer you want and select to print on "Multiple" or "booklet" and make sure to choose 2 pages per page.

if you want the output to be PDF so in the printer choose "Adobe PDF" and then enter into the properties of the Acrobat PDF printer and choose A3 as output paper in the "Adobe PDF page size" section

enter image description here

The second way is to use Adobe bridge and it will open photoshop contact sheet script. (of course you may use it directly from photoshop by going to File > Automate > Contactsheet II ) open acrobat bridge and browse to your project folder choose two A4 Pages you want to merge into one and go to Tools > Photoshop > contact sheet this option will make a contact sheet with the selected pages .. make sure you select only two pages

and make sure to enter the A3 size in cm (29.7*42) and two columns and one row and the hereunder screenshot

enter image description here

Tell you the truth there are so many ways merging two A4 into A3 paper .. so many ways that I can not collect in one answer. some use scripts and some use software like Photoshop, CorelDraw, Illustrator, and similar to them some use data merge like InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and professional imposition software, so many ways even I can merge two pages into one using excel and/or PowerPoint. it is a very common task and so many software can do so many even I cant imagine.

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