I am trying to print my 4" x 6" book from InDesign CS6 to my home printer. The book has about 100 pages, a perfect bound book with a few front pages and a table of contents.

I want to print the pages in the right order as 2up, centered & double-sided, onto 8.5" x 11" paper which I will then have cut down into individual 4" x 6" pages and bind by hand. The document has facing pages and I am using "print booklet",e selected 2-up perfect bound and, since my printer doesn't have automatic duplexing, I am printing the odd pages first then turning the paper over and printing the even pages.

I've got everything working except the order of the pages does not make any sense and I can't figure out why or how to fix it. I did not anticipate this being a complex function! I thought that "print booklet" would handle the page ordering.

  • Is your number of pages divisible by 4? "about" 100 isn't clear enough. 100, 104, 108, 96, 92, 88 will work. But 102, 103, 101, 99, 98, will all throw off the page order.
    – Scott
    May 24, 2013 at 21:01
  • it's 101 pages exactly. but i'm okay with having blank pages. i wondered if the signature size being 4 would affect me - and it sounds like what you are asking might mean it does? i'll mess with it and get it divisible by 4 and see if that works! thank you, fingers crossed.
    – Lisa
    May 24, 2013 at 21:13
  • +1 to @Scott and I just wanted to add if you ever plan to send your book to a professional printer they also require the book to be divisible by four.
    – user9447
    May 25, 2013 at 13:06

3 Answers 3


Any book or booklet printed must have a page count divisible by 4 at a minimum.

You have a left page and right page on the front, and a left page and right page on the back, totaling 4 pages. This is called a signature. A signature is one sheet of stock/paper with many pages (or folios) on it. When the signature is folded and/or cut it creates the proper pages.

If you do not have a page count divisible by 4, then you need to add blank pages, or delete pages, to make the page count divisible by 4.

It doesn't matter where you add blank pages or delete pages from, but the indesign document must have the correct page count for the signature.

The overal pages panel should look similar to this for a facing pages document (with the correct number of pages of course):

enter image description here

To use Indesign's Print Booklet feature, and be able ot print even/odd pages independently follow these steps:

  1. Print to a postscript file
    • Choose print booklet
    • Click the Print Settings button
    • Set the Printer drop down to Postscript file.
    • Make certain all other print settings are correct such as bleeds, rotation, scale, etc.
  2. Open the resulting .ps (postscript) file with Adobe Acrobat.
  3. Acrobat will distill the .ps to a .pdf file.
  4. Save the PDF
  5. Print even/odd pages from the PDF in Acrobat.
  • This is excellent and all makes sense and I greatly appreciate it. I have facing pages but page 1 sits at the beginning as one page all alone - I think this also is going to affect the page order. Any clues for me there? Or I can ask in another post. You've been very helpful. Thank you.
    – Lisa
    May 24, 2013 at 21:35
  • All pages in the document count. if you have 101 pages currently, just add 3 blank pages to the end of the document. The last page, in a facing pages document, should look like the opposite of the first page in the document, i.e. page 1 right size, page 104 left side.
    – Scott
    May 24, 2013 at 21:36
  • I deleted one page so there'd be 100. But this first page still sits by itself, no matter how I move things around, or even if I add pages.
    – Lisa
    May 24, 2013 at 21:38
  • That's fine. The important factor is the actual number of pages. In facing pages documents, page 1 is always by itself. It's assumed it's the title page or cover. The last page in the file will be the back cover. And it too should be by itself rather than in a spread.
    – Scott
    May 24, 2013 at 21:40
  • oh, super cool!! how do i give you a vote or something like that? i'm new to this forum.
    – Lisa
    May 24, 2013 at 21:41

I did this without making a postscript file, right from InDesign. From the Print Booklet window, click on Print Settings. Then, click on Printer in the next window that comes up, and from the drop down list, select Paper Handling. There, you can select odd or even only, then flip over your stack of pages and print on the other side. Also, InDesign will add in extra pages if it is not divisible by 4, but you won't have control over where.


Your book needs to have a total page count that can be divided by 4 for a 2up, or 8 for a 4up.

Example: Instead of 101 pages, use 104 pages by adding 3 extra white pages at the end of your file.

Additionally, don't forget to use the "Print blank pages" or "Print blank Printer Spread"; some software will have this option and if left unchecked, it will ignore the blank pages... which will cause your pages to not be printed in the right order. This is a mistake a lot of people do.

Also, to correct the answer above, it's better to open a postscript .ps with Adobe Acrobat Distiller directly (drag and drop); it's easier to select which profile to use and the quality of the PDF. You can build your own profiles or create new ones.

If I'm not mistaken, the "standard" setting is not high resolution and that's the one used when dragging the .ps on Acrobat Reader or Pro. So be careful!

If nothing works as planed, you can always export a PDF and simply create your own 'imposition' by inserting each PDF page back into an Indesign document already 2ups.

Sometimes it's the only way to get the perfect margins and not waste time trying to figure out how to print your booklets perfectly. Plus it's easier to re-print a few pages this way if you ever made a mistake while doing your manual "duplexing"! It's something you only need to do once, then whenever you'll update the PDF, the pages will get updated automatically.

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