I need to make a booklet using A4 paper, folded along the vertical axis (see image). The folded booklet will thus be 105 × 297 mm. The final booklet will be either 3 or 4 sheets of paper (12 or 16 pages when folded).

Folding an A4 paper vertically

Getting content lined up in two columns in e.g. Microsoft Word is easy enough, but printing a booklet brings with it the challenge of getting the page order right, in particular with the non-standard size.

I have previously used the Create Booklet menu item for OS X with great success, but it fails me when I throw a 105 × 297 mm document at it. Instead of portrait A4:s with my pages as two "columns", I get landscape A4:s with most of the content cut off.

In Word, I can even change my Page Setup into what I'm looking for, but the changes don't save. If I select Book fold and swap the dimensions, I get a preview showing me the exact layout I want. Pressing Portrait is disabled however, and when I press OK it reverts into the normal two landscape pages on a portrait sheet.

Before: Before pressing OK After: After pressing OK

I am looking for a way to generate the correct page layout and order. It may be that Word is not capable of producing the output I want, in which case I would consider solutions that use other software as acceptable answers as well. I have both Windows and OS X machines at my disposal.

  • For the OSX description, it sounds like you have an A4 Landscape page with two columns: one for each page? I think you want a single column on a custom sheet size of 105 x 297. In other words, do a reader galley the correct desired single page size and then export via "create booklet" which looks like it will impose the pages into printer spreads. If you plan on manually imposing the pages, you are going to need to do them two up in the proper jumbled order for folding. I suspect that the export phase is messing up because the export has no idea you are composing 2 pages per sheet – horatio Feb 26 '14 at 22:28
  • Old question, but for other readers, this solution may be helpful: How to print a book? – fixer1234 Sep 7 '16 at 16:35

A year or two down the road but I continue to try to find a solution. The best I've been able to find involves a process of mirrored margins and setting a gutter before printing. It is tedious compared to the old WordPerfect clicks I used to use. But it does work. I'm happy to share this for all and sundry...

This process is described for MS Word 2013.

The instructions are based heavily on and with due recognition to the MVP FAQ - http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/BookletPrinting.htm

The process is rather tedious compared to some other software packages which can deliver the result with a few mouse clicks.

In particular it will require manual processing of the document through the printer. With a duplex printer it will involve passing the paper through the printer twice.

  1. Ensure you have set up your document by first choosing Portrait orientation on the Paper Size tab of the File | Page Setup dialogue. This is the normal page layout when typing a document.
  2. Access the Page Layout tab and open the Page Setup menu
  3. Select “Mirror margins” on the Margins tab in the drop down box marked Multiple Pages. When you do this, the margin measurements for “Left” and “Right” change to “Inside” and “Outside.”
  4. Set the margins you want for your half-size page. If your booklet is to be “saddle stitched” (stapled in the centre), you may want a slightly larger margin on the outside to allow for trimming.
  5. Now set the “Gutter” measurement to half the width of your paper.For A4 this would be 105mm. You will see from the diagram in Page Setup that the text area of your page will alternate from right to left.
  6. You can now type your document or a previously typed document will have been reformatted. As you will have figured out, this will give you one page per sheet, alternating right (odd pages) and left (even pages). Not to worry! Enter your text sequentially, page 1 through the end. The total number of pages in the reformatted document must be divisible by four, so you may need to add blanks at the end.
  7. To print, select “Odd pages” at either the bottom Print all pages settings dialogue on the print screen.
  8. If you have a duplex printer then you can print double sided. (On my HP printer the pages actually come out of the printer with the top of the printed page at the bottom of the paper as placed in the printer paper tray.
  9. After you have printed all the odd pages, return to the Print all pages settings dialogue and select “Even pages”.
  10. Place your paper back in the printer tray. I had to turn the pages over to get the page order correct. Print again using the duplex setting of the printer.

This is a tedious process and I am tempted to revert to my trusty old WordPerfect which did the whole process in one pass through the printer. But for Word users without an alternative option this will achieve the same result. There has to be a better way and I'm ready to discover it but haven't found anything so far...

  • If you're still looking for a simple solution, see my comment on the question. – fixer1234 Sep 7 '16 at 16:53

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