I'm new to inDesign and trying to design a diary, which will be OTA bound (ie. like a book; no wiro-binding or spiral).

How do I need to setup the document? shall I create individual A5 pages, which will then be merged into 16-pages 'booklets' when creating a Printable PDF? Or do I need to create a Spread (like 2 A5s side by side)?

Hope the question makes sense!

  • Hi Patrick, thanks for your question. Could you tell us what you tried that didn't work? Always good to show some effort, and your chances for a good answer increase. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


If you want the electronic version to truly mimic the print version, use spreads. Just make sure your inside margin (on the binding side) is generous enough for your binding method. (I'm not sure what that would be in the case of OTA binding).

  • 1
    Just to complete this (correct) answer: She should use a minimum of 0.5" to 0.75" (13mm to 19mm) of safe margin where the binding is!
    – go-junta
    Jun 24, 2015 at 5:47
  • The only problem I see with this (and that's probably just lack of knowledge on my side!) is: these spreads will have to be ''nested' into signatures. Does that mean that on the first spread I need to have, to the left, the first page (as seen by a reader, and on the right side the 15th page etc.? I hope it makes sense
    – Patrick
    Jun 25, 2015 at 11:53
  • Are you printing and binding these yourself? If not, the printer should be able to arrange the pages into signatures. If I were to do it myself, I'd likely create a book file with each "chapter" as a signature. In other words, each signature would be a separate InDesign file, which would arrange the pages properly (I think).
    – Voxwoman
    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:27
  • I suppose all of this is easier than hand-setting type!
    – Voxwoman
    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:28
  • No, i'm not printing myself so I think the best course of action is to prepare single pages that the printer will merge into signatures. So, if that's the case, should i set up inDesign for size: A5, FACING PAGES: ON, inside margin 15mm or similar?
    – Patrick
    Jun 25, 2015 at 14:50

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