I have a small organic seed company in Southern California and I’m attempting to make our very first seed catalog using what I would describe as a “zine format”: a letter-sized paper that is folded over, resulting in a booklet composed of half pages (I don’t know if there is a more technical term for this, so please correct me). I’m using InDesign 5 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
When I started making the document, it seemed logical to start with my page size as a “half-letter," because I had read about the Adobe “Print booklet” feature that would automatically print the pages in the appropriate order for folding. After making a few pages of my catalog I decided to do a test run of this feature, as I suspected things might be harder than it seemed. I have run against two problems while doing so, and I’m hoping that someone here can help give me some insight.
The first problem is that I can’t get the pages to impose properly while adopting an alternative page numbering regime on the pages themselves. To explain: I’ve selected “2-Up Saddle Stitch” in the Print booklet settings. I have a 10-page document in 5 spreads. In the document menu I set my layout to start at page 2 so that the spreads show up side by side in the pages window. However, I also want page numbers on my zine so I started a new number section (which I gave a prefix of A) on what is ultimately the fourth page of the layout. This numbering shows up as “1” on the fourth page and proceeds consecutively from there (pages 4-10 on the spread in the page layout box are labeled 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 on the pages themselves). It seems like the Booklet Print thinks my second section (A) of page 1 is where it should begin formatting saddle stitch. In the help section on booklet printing Adobe writes, “If you have divided the document into sections of page numbers, you should enter section page numbers (such as Sec2:11) in the Range field.” However, they only recommend doing this if you want specific ranges of pages formatted, whereas I want the entire document to be formatted. Nonetheless, I tried to do this, suspicious that the first three pages were not being formatted properly. However, I have not even been able to figure out how to specify my section A in the range box. I’ve typed in things like “SecA:1” but I get a message that says: “one or more of the pages specified are not valid page names.” I note when I’ve stripped this formatting from the document the Print booklet feature imposes the pages in the correct order. So, this problem is not the end of the world. However, what I’ve lost is the ability to have page numbers printed on my document, unless I want to add them manually to each page (and then have to deal with reformatting if I ever add or remove pages to the document in the future).
The second, and more substantial problem I am having is getting the pages to print out even close to correct. I have a Brother HL-5340D laser printer that has a duplex feature, and I assumed there would be a way to simply print two pages of my catalog (half-letter pages) onto one letter sized page, side by side, double sided, and in the correct order for folding. After trying a number of different options (changing the page size and orientation of the page in the printing box), I have not been able to get the printer to print out these pages successfully, or even in the right size and orientation – or even out of the right tray, for that matter. Once as I’ve been playing around with all the settings I got it to pull from “Tray 1” (and created a preset from within the OS X print settings), but I can’t figure out how I got that option to stick. Of course, Adobe recommends using their own printer dialog box over the Brother driver, but duplex, for instance, is not possible without going back into the OS-based print setting. So I turned that on, something that has worked fine with other InDesign documents I have created. In this case, however, I have not been able to get duplex printing to work.
I’m wondering if there are conflicts being created between the two printer settings, or perhaps I have just made a mistake in starting my catalog with a document size of “half letter” and now attempting to print out two of my half letter pages onto one letter-sized sheet (and double-sided, at that). As a InDesign neophyte (six months experience) I still wonder if there’s not something really obvious that I’m missing.
Does anyone have any insight into my predicament?
Patiently waiting; thanks folks…