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
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 PDFMultiPlace.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 ‘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?
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 imposed 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.
Consider Adding IDImposer to Your Toolkit If:
- You use Adobe InDesign, and
- You are trying to use InDesign’s ‘Print Booklet…” feature, but it doesn’t quite do what you need, and periodically drives you crazy; or
- You are a Designer who needs to produce folded mockups of a job, for clients or your commercial printer; or
- You have an in-house print shop that wants you to supply them with ready-to-print, imposed PDF files; or
- You are a 1-person publications department — you do it all; or
- You need an easy way to digitally add special printer marks, or ‘slugs’ with job information, to your imposed output; or
- You love bookbinding — producing your own books, by hand.
Consider NOT Using IDImposer When:
- You are using an outside printer that has a prepress department. They will probably want to do the final imposition themselves, and will charge you more if you bring them an already-imposed PDF of the job. (You still might want to bring them an imposed, folded mockup, produced with IDImposer, to reduce the chances for expensive misunderstandings and mistakes.)