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I need to insert a facing pages PDF document into a single pages PDF document, is it possible to do this and keep the structure of both?

This means that the result should be one document in which you first see single pages, then you transition to facing pages and then you go back to see single pages.


Not shure if it's of any importance, but the single pages PDF was created from a Word document and the facing pages PDF was created from an InDesign document.

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  • I’m not sure I understand what you mean. PDF files are neither facing- nor single-paged – they’re just pages. You can choose in your PDF viewer whether to display a file as single pages (with or without scrolling) or spreads (with or without scrolling, and with or without a cover page, i.e., the first page as a single, right page as in a book), but there’s nothing inherent in that – it’s just a display settings, but one that applies to the entire file. Nov 6, 2022 at 23:36

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I, personally, would just place PDF pages into a new InDesign document. Set the "facing pages" as a larger page in InDesign and position each half.

Many may not realize that it's possible to have different size pages in a single InDesign file.

In InDesign, if you grab the Page Tool you can then highlight a page in the Pages Panel, and change its dimensions in the Control Bar across the top of the screen. This will change the highlighted page and not the entire document. (You have to have the Page Tool active in the Toolbar.)

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Then merely place your PDF pages into this new document (similar to placing images), position correctly, and then export to a single pages PDF. While some pages are the size of a spread in InDesign, they will be "seen" as a single page in the PDf.

This would give you want you want with minimal effort.

Note you can "place" InDesign pages from one INDD document into another InDesign document. You don't necessarily need to have a PDF of any InDesign document to do this.

I don't think it's possible to use more than a single option for page display in Acrobat. I could be incorrect though.

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  • Thank you Scott, that's one alternative I'll consider.
    – Daniel
    Nov 6, 2022 at 20:08
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I actually just did this recently for a portrait-A4 facing pages client report, which needed a few landscape A3 pages (with some larger tables, which would otherwise not fit the A4 portrait format), equivalent to two normal A4 portrait pages.

What I did was to create a new master page in A3 size, and apply this to single pages, breaking the existing facing pages flow of the larger document (see pages in red highlight).

When you export this to PDF with facing pages applied, A4 pages come out paired left and right, while A3 pages come out as single pages.

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  • Hey Lucian, thank you for your answer. Now, how were you able to break the facing pages flow? I'm struggling with that.
    – Daniel
    Nov 6, 2022 at 20:07
  • @Daniel Look closely and you'll see the "spread divider" on the right or left of the larger pages in Lucian's answer. The facing pages set up isn't "broken" for the larger pages, they are merely a single page rather than two pages. Basically it's using the setup I explained in my answer - although my answer shows single pages rather than facing pages.
    – Scott
    Nov 6, 2022 at 20:21
  • @Daniel you need to TURN OFF the "Allow document pages to shuffle" option in the Pages panel. This locks your existing spreads into pairs of 2 pages, and then you can add single pages in between the spreads. Notice how my page numbers are shown in square brackets due to turning that option off. You need to experiment a bit if you haven't used this before. Also, lots of Youtube content on this.
    – Lucian
    Nov 6, 2022 at 20:28
  • youtu.be/jFEZduWfQ64
    – Lucian
    Nov 6, 2022 at 20:36
  • Hey Lucian, thank you for your comment... I was able to modify the spread in indesign as you suggested, with some facing pages and some single pages, but I haven't been able to export it to PDF and keep the same structure, it always shows me either single pages or facing pages, never a mix of them. Any suggestions?
    – Daniel
    Nov 20, 2022 at 18:41
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(adding this as a separate answer to further illustrate what @Scott mentioned)

In InDesign, there's some flexibility in terms of what's possible with multiple page formats inside the same INDD document. The image below illustrates this.

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