I'm a complete beginner at InDesign (so be nice!), and I've been trying to answer my own question, but I'm having trouble finding out the answer to this question in the forums, youtube videos, tutorial websites, etc. I'm using CS3 after lots of experience with Microsoft Publisher, just fyi.
I'm trying to design a small two-sided flyer, the size of a postcard, and that will print out 4 times on 8 1/2in x11in Letter size paper. How should I initially set up this document in InDesign?
The options I see are:
1. Setting up a Letter size document, creating my flyer on it, then when I go to print select Thumbnail 2x2;
2. Setting up a 4.25in x 5.5in document, designing postcard, then printing 4 per page;
3. Creating a small postcard, set within the margins of the 8 1/2x11 Letter page, and copy and pasting the post card's front and back 4 times to fill the document, then printing. (seems like the outer margins will be very funky in this option)
I hardly know how to do any of these options even if one is correct. So I need help not only learning how to set up the document, but also how to actually do it!
I don't know how you plan to print this, but for output on a desktop printer I would set it up as a 4-up file for printing. You can do that either by setting up the document at 8.5 x 11 and makeing the layout in one corner, then using step and repeat to duplicate the layout to the other 3 positions, or set up as 4.25 x 5.5 and make one copy, then place that page onto your letter size sheet and duplicate to the four corners. For professional printing you would set up as 2.25 x 5.5 and let the printer no the imposition on his press sheet.
Don't forget that desktop printers do not print to the edges, so you'll want to leave at least a .25 border around all four edges of the card (so it's even on all edges as you put the card in each position), and the registration from front to back may not be accurate, so allow for some misalignment on the back in your design.