Designer Spreads vs. Printer Spreads

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The process of creating Printer Spreads from layout spreads is called imposition. It is necessary to do this so that the actual printing of the pages can occur efficiently and economically. For the designer, however, it is generally easier to work in Layout Spread (otherwise know as Reader’s Spread or Designer Spread) where the pages are ordered sequentially, as you would expect to read them in the finished book or magazine. You are creating Layout or Reader spreads when you are working in InDesign. Converting your project to a Printer Spread using the Print Booklet command (from the file menu) not the Print command should be done just before you’re ready to print.

Tip: Remember when you’re creating a booklet Indesign will double the width of the document to fit two facing pages. If you’re final booklet prints to a letter size (8.5” x 11”) sheet of paper, you should set up your InDesign layout spread for each page to be letter-half (5.5” x 8.5”).

Duplex (back to back) printing to the laserjet requires a different re-ordering, or collating, of the pages prior to printing the backs because the path of the paper through the printer is different.


1. Add page numbers to the Master Pages as normal
2. Go to the page where you want the content of the book to begin and where you want to begin to see the page numbers. InDesign refers to this as a new Section. This page must be a right hand page.
3. Once you are on that page, Go to Layout from the menu bar and go down to Numbering and Section Options.
4.  Make sure the Start Section box at the top is checked.
5. By default the Auto Page Numbering option is selected, this will continue page numbering the exact same way as if you did nothing. If you want to number the next section differently, select the Start Page Numbering at: box and enter the number you would like. It could be 1 again.
6. You may also change the style of the numbers from Arabic to Roman Numerals, or alphabetic, etc from the Style drop down menu. The normal way to use this is to change the front matter (TOC, Dedication Page, Title Page, etc) to lower case roman numerals, and begin this new section with “regular” or Arabic numerals starting with numeral 1.
7.  You might also choose to not have any numbers show up on the front matter section. If this front section will not have any of the master mage elements on them, including numbers, then simply drop the “None” master page icon on each of the pages in that section. If you want some of the Master Page elements but not the numbers, create a second set of Master Pages (Master Page B) by duplicating the Master A pages and delete the page numbering and apply it to the front section.


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