I need to create an A5 booklet (by folding A4 sheets), and the only tool at my disposal at the moment is Photoshop, since I haven't got InDesign on the machine that I'm working on right now.

What's the best way to set up a booklet in Photoshop?


  • Understood that you don't have InDesign available, but are you familiar with it at all? I.e. have you used it before and you're looking to get similar functionality in PS? – JohnB Feb 27 '14 at 1:17
  • I think he's asking about document setup? Such as considering bleed, center fold, margin etc with guides? – Javi Feb 27 '14 at 3:03
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    I, personally, would never consider doing this. Use Illustrator if not InDesign or QuarkExpress. But painting applications are never the proper thing for books. You can build a house with only a pair of pliers. That doesn't mean you should. – Scott Feb 27 '14 at 6:24
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    ...Er do you have acrobat? You could make the pdf in Photoshop and print using acrobat preferences, as otheres have said just Photoshop is a miserable situation, even having word or the open source open office would be more efficient. (providing that only the cover has imagery or layup that can only be achievwd using the Adobe suite, you could print the text from a word processor). – Jenna Feb 27 '14 at 10:18

For Photoshop, A4 or A5 in a landscape format, at minimum 300dpi/ppi (because you're printing it):

Under Preferences > Guides, grids and slices make gridlines at every 50 PERCENT. typically with subdivisions every 1 unit.

Now when you go View > Show > Grid you will get a clear subdivision of your page. If you need it to be 3 fold, simply show place your lines every 33.33%.

After that it's simply just placing things where you want them, bearing in mind that the grid in the center is where your fold will be.


As others have said, terrible situation to do it in Photoshop.

Possible solution:

  • Use guides to set up your A4 page spread and layout, margins etc.
  • Make folders for each spread to keep things organized.
  • Set up a template folder with textboxes and image masks to re-use.
  • Use layer comps to "bookmark" each spread once you are done laying them out.
  • Name the layercomps according to the spread (e.g. 2-3, 4-5)
  • Export with Script > layer comps to files

That's a miserable situation.

How many pages? I would set it up in single reader's spreads and let your poor printer figure out the rest.

  • any answer that "passes the problem on" should be down voted just for posting the idea of passing the buck. – Phlume Feb 27 '14 at 20:49
  • @Phlume have you ever been involved in such a project? I've been called on to repair such broken scenarios. Trust me, my simple instructions are best for the designer and the printer. When you try to do more than something simple with Pshop, you only cause problems. – plainclothes Mar 3 '14 at 21:22
  • yes I have worked with printers and have done pre-flight/pre-press work, and no, I'd try and fix the issues for them rather than pass it off onto them. If anything I would export to a pdf and follow @jenna's suggestion. but as we all have noted, this i snot a job for Photoshop. – Phlume Mar 3 '14 at 21:27
  • "not a job for Photoshop" ... exactly! So give your poor printer as close to the original garbage as possible so they can do what's required for their equipment. – plainclothes Mar 3 '14 at 22:44

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