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Does InDesign support spreads with pages arranged above-and-below as well as side-by-side? And if not, how do I work around this shortcoming?

I would like to arrange sheets as follows, for a folded map:

french plus trifold

where the A2 sheet will first be folded on the red line, then on the purple line, then trifolded into a DL size. The "A" pages are 100x210mm, the "B" pages will be 97x210mm.

I didn't think it would be this hard to find support for this, as cross-folding sheets isn't that unusual. But so far I've only been able to make pages join laterally into a spread. Am I missing something, or is this support simply not in InDesign?

If there isn't such support in InDesign, how do I at least tell alternating spreads to have different bleed & slug settings, so I can pretend that adjacent spreads are actually conjoined? Or to set it up otherwise in such a way that a printer will appreciate what I deliver, instead of either hating me or sending it back for rework?

I know I can create an A2 page and chop it up with guides and arrange everything manually... I was hoping to, you know, use a layout tool for... well, layout.

  • Pre-press departments customarily use single PDF pages and arrange spreads in applications like Preps. InDesign isn't really intended to be an end-production tool. It's a front-construction tool. I'm afraid manually configuring the full spread is about all I could think to do with InDesign. – Scott May 22 '15 at 5:23
  • Hello and welcome to GD.SE. I am afraid @Scott is right. – joojaa May 22 '15 at 6:06
  • It should be noted, if you are getting this professionally printed, it's really not your job to configure the signatures. You set up the panels or pages... so 8 pages with 3 panels per page and just be certain panels are set to back up to each other properly... Page 1 panel A backs up to Page 2 Panel C, etc. – Scott May 22 '15 at 6:13
  • @Scott thanks. I noted that this is for a map, so whereas the pages 1-12 will be discrete, pages 13-24 will actually be covered by a single image, so I don't really want to divvy everything up into pages and try aligning them. It isn't just a booklet imposition, and I doubt a prepress dept can read my mind... so I would rather lay out the sheets myself rather than rely on someone else. It looks like I'm down to manual labour without tool assistance. Perhaps you could post your response as an answer, and maybe suggest how you would use InDesign in this situation? – Jeremy Taylor May 22 '15 at 6:23
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Pre-press departments customarily use single PDF pages and arrange spreads in imposition applications like Preps. InDesign isn't really intended to be an end-production tool. It's a front-construction tool. I'm afraid manually configuring the full spread is about all I could think to do with InDesign.

It should be noted, if you are getting this professionally printed, it's really not your job to configure the signatures. You set up the panels or pages... so 8 pages with 3 panels per page and just be certain panels are set to back up to each other properly... Page 1 panel A backs up to Page 2 Panel C, etc.

If I were doing this.... I'd have 4 pages, 6 panels per page. Basically I'd set up each spread as a page and 2 spreads = 1 signature.

enter image description here

You could then rotate the page 2 180° if you felt it was warranted, although that's an easy thing to do in pre-press for almost any print provider.

Regarding 13-24 being a single image, just the same image placed twice on different spreads and cropped accordingly.

With this setup, all you really need to do is ensure panel sizes are correct and create guides.

Of course, you could set up each panel as a single page as well and set the pages to be in the same spread in the Pages Panel. But then each panel would be the same size (which would cause folding issues).

  • Yes thsi si what i would do, but possibly in illsutrator instead. Tough text in indesign is nice – joojaa May 22 '15 at 7:43

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