I need to print a short booklet via InDesign and my document is ready. However, I'm unsure if the printer I'm gonna print on (tomorrow) is capable of printing both sides.

So I'm wondering: Is double-sided printing a requirement to print a booklet?

I guess single-sided will work just as good, but not completely sure

  • Your printer or a commercial printer? Commercial printers generally print both sides. Your printer may not have the capability to do that.
    – Scott
    Jul 2, 2014 at 22:32
  • It's the printer on my university, which ain't a commercial one, but much more than the regular every-house printer. I'm quite sure it does print both sides, but not completely sure. I want to have a fallback solution if the odds are against me. Therefor I would like to know if I could even print a booklet when it only prints single-sided and I'll have to manually lay down the pages correctly. Jul 2, 2014 at 22:41
  • 2
    You can print anything one sides on just about any printer. The Booklet command in Indesign simply generates a PDF. That PDF is printed one page after another. Whether or not the pages go back to back is a function of the printer. The software has nothing to do with it.
    – Scott
    Jul 2, 2014 at 22:52

3 Answers 3


Most book binding options require that one print on both sides --- if the book requires that there be text on both sides --- certainly all of the settings in InDesign assume this.

There are folding / binding techniques which will avoid that need, such as the "Stroke book" technique which I used in "One Typeface, Many Fonts": http://www.tug.org/texshowcase/onetype.pdf

Similarly, Chinese-Japanese-Korean stab binding allow one to print two pages to one side of a sheet, then fold them, binding the book together along the open edge so as to make a book --- this can easily be done w/o special software simply by printing 2-up (you will need to insert a page so as to get rectos to appear on the left-hand sheet).


If printing with third parties or on computers other than your own, you're actually most likely to print from a PDF generated via InDesign. Double sided printing is to be preferred obviously and this will generally be the norm for professional printers and some mid-range office printers.

You could however print single sided black & white sheets while you proof your artwork to check how things look on paper.


Printing a booklet using a printer without a duplex feature is simply a matter of printing the odd sheets first, reloading sheets, and then the printing only the even sheets.

Printer vary in how they flip the sheets from the feeder, so do a simple test booklet with maybe 3 sheets (12 booklet pages) of paper to ensure your booklet will fold properly.

The document needs to be in booklet format (i.e. printer spreads) already, and the odds/evens feature is built into most PDF readers.

See also: https://superuser.com/questions/481601/acrobat-reader-how-to-print-only-the-odd-pages

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