I have been trying to find the answer to this but have had no luck. I've got a book that I would like to print out for a sample proof. I figure an 5.5" by 8.5" would be good so i could simply cut a sheet in half and bind it.

But the only options I am seeing to print seem to be for folding of a brochure which makes sense if the papers were simple going to be folded, but not if I plan on cutting the sheets.

How can I set indesign to print the first half of the pages on the left side of the paper, and then the second half on the right of the page, front and back.

So a hundred page book would have page 1 and 51 on the front and 2 and 52 on the back, and so forth, so that when I cut it, I can simply take the right stack and put it under the left stack.

I do see other options for perfect bound or consecutive printing, but im not positive if those are what I want either.

3 Answers 3


The only imposition feature within the native InDesign installation is the File > Print Booklet Command.

That command will take a reader spread document, impose it to printer spreads [1,52 - 51,2 - 3,50- etc], then create a PDF. You can not customize this beyond the options you see when selecting the menu item.

Whether or not that feature does what you need it to do is for you to determine. I do not think it will allow you to merely cut the pages in half, then stack them.

You may have to waste a lot of paper bu printing half the book, then printing the other have and trimming away the blank side.


You can export to a single page PDF, Open a new InDesign document the size of your spread and then place each individual page from the PDF in the appropriate location. Then print that "setup" document.


I would set up your document with facing pages and a page size of 5.5 x 8.5". Then when you print the document, you will set for duplex printing, on 8.5 x 11" paper and print two pages per sheet. I don't have time to test it for you, but some combination like that should allow you to achieve what you want.

If it doesn't work, and no one else provides an answer before I have time to test, I will test it and figure out the best way to do it for you, but it won't be for about 6 or 7 hours before I can do that.

If you want to go the PDF way that others have recommended (which I agree is really probably your best option), use a script to automate placing multi-page PDF files.

There is a script that comes with InDesign, called PlaceMultipagePDF, that allows you to place a multi-page PDF. The options within that script are fairly limited though, so I recommend downloading a different free script called MultiPageImporter, which allows you to specify all sorts of different options before you place the PDF. It can be found here: http://indesignsecrets.com/zanelli-releases-multipageimporter-for-importing-both-pdf-and-indd-files.php. I used the newest version yesterday in my CC 2017 version of InDesign (even though it says it is for CS5) and it worked perfectly.


I would just do it manually:

  1. Export a single-paged pdf of the 100 pages (or whatever number you're working with) of your book. Since you're talking about doing only one cut, I assume it is a traditional novel with no bleed.
  2. Create a new document in letter size, landscape. Make sure it has 50 pages.
  3. On the A-Master page, place an empty image frame on each half of the page.
  4. Switch back to page one and hit Ctrl+D to place the pdf you just made.
  5. Now, click on the left frame on page 1, scroll down to page 2 with the mouse wheel and click on the right frame then scroll down to page 3 and click on the left and so on until you get to page 50.
  6. Scroll back to page 1 and continue the process, simply filling out the remaining empty frames.
  7. Now you can print your document front/back to get the result you wanted.

You could also just print your book on the middle of the letter paper front/back with crop marks, cut it and throw the rest way. Using 100 pages instead of 50. But maybe with fewer mistakes?

  • dang, so no auto option to do what I'm attempting, I was trying to avoid manually laying out the pages as my book is actually closer to the 200 page mark. I could simply cut the pages and waste half the paper also, but im really attempting to save money and every little bit counts. I wonder if i could just cut the papers ahead of time and print them at that size? I'd have to figure out how to configure that I suppose.
    – Jon C
    Mar 14, 2017 at 19:39
  • Isn't it easier to just start clicking? 200 clicks. Gonna take you 15-30 minutes. You only have to do it once and you can just update the pdf (if the page count stays the same).
    – Wolff
    Mar 14, 2017 at 20:01

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