Sample 16-page Layout from IDImposer

Imposition Defined

“Imposition is one of the fundamental steps in the prepress printing process. It consists in the arrangement of the printed product’s pages on the printer’s sheet, in order to obtain faster printing, simplify binding and reduce paper waste.”

“Correct imposition minimizes printing time by maximizing the number of pages per impression, reducing cost of press time and materials. To achieve this, the printed sheet must be filled as fully as possible.”


IDImposer’s Mission

In other words, while InDesign’s job is to arrange text and graphics onto Pages, IDImposer’s job is to arrange those Pages onto printed Sheets. Commonly, a Sheet contains at least 2 Pages on each side of a Sheet, for a total of 4 or more Pages per Sheet.

Imposition Alternatives

So, when the Pages of your booklet or other publication are ready to be arranged onto Sheets and printed, how should we do it?

A Prepress Printing Services Provider

Well, we could bring our Pages to a prepress printing service provider. Certainly that is the right choice for many types of complex or high cost jobs. If you decide to take that approach, don’t forget to consult with your service provider as early as possible in the job production process.

A PDF Imposition System

Or we could export the reader-spread job to PDF, and then use one of the PDF-based imposition systems? That’s fine, if your budget and time allow, or if your job is already in PDF format. (But also see MultiPlace.jsx for building an InDesign document from a PDF file. It’s in the RESOURCES > HelperScripts folder, in the IDImposer folder.)

Acrobat’s Booklet Printing

How about Acrobat’s ‘Booklet Printing’ feature? It might suffice, if your needs are simple and you plan to print directly from Acrobat. But note that ‘Booklet Printing’ cannot write out an imposed PDF, and is limited to 2-up output.

InDesign’s Print Booklet

Okay then, how about using InDesign’s ‘Print Booklet’ feature?

Well, on the plus side, Print Booklet is free.

On the minus side, Print Booklet is limited to simple 2-up layouts, on small sheets. And producing PDF files of the results is problematic. And there is no WYSIWYG preview of the imposed job before you print, resulting too often in wasted time and materials.


This website describes a different tool, called IDImposer. IDImposer works with Adobe InDesign to turn your InDesign ‘reader-page-order’ documents into 2-up or more-up ‘printer sheet’ documents, ready for cutting, folding, and binding.