The Problem

I've designed some playing cards (3.5" x 2.25") in InDesign. Now I want to print a prototype batch on my home printer as a first test. Ideally I would like 4 cards per 8.5" x 11" page, with printers marks to guide cutting.

You'd think this would be easy with InDesign. So far, it seems to be anything but. There are a startling number of wrong ways to do it, and I haven't found a right way yet.

What I've Tried

Method A: New Document

  1. Start a second document with 8.5" x 11" pages.
  2. Drag the cards into it and position them 1 by 1

This is the closest to the right way that I've found, but I lose any background fields from the original in the process.

Method B: Export to PDF

I tried exporting to PDF then printing multiple pages to a page.

Why this fails: it resizes the pages.

Method C: Printing Thumbnails

I tried printing "thumbnails" to a single page in InDesign. Again, this resizes the pages.

  • PDFs won't resize if you tell them not to.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


You need two indesign documents: "source" and "print layout".

example source file


in "print layout" just place (cmd+D) and select "source"


in "print layout" you have created needed layout with rectangle frames in which you'll have placed your source file

print layout

and print

  • what about the two-sided printing? is there a way not to do the whole thing manually?
    – ganqqwerty
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 23:24
  • yes, there is. please, check this manual nickcassway.com/designblog/?p=698 it's old, but not outdated Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 21:13

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