7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2014 11:59 AM by Joel Cherney

    Binding Direction


      My company recently sent out an English InDesign document to be translated into Arabic. We got an Arabic document back, but the binding direction is backwards. The pages are still in the correct order, but when I make a pdf file, the first page is the second page and the third page is the fourth page and so on.  My only workaround was to manually reorder the pages in the PDF file. Even though the pages in the

        • 1. Re: Binding Direction
          Joel Cherney Level 5

          You don't even need to finish your question for me to answer it although I'm not sure what you mean when you say "the first page is the second page" etc. A screenshot of your Pages panel in ID might help.


          Arabic is a right-to-left language, and therefore should be bound with the spine on the right. If you don't know that, you probably shouldn't be touching your translator's work at all. Ask your printer for a spec, then send that spec to your translation provider and ask them to provide a print-ready PDF to your printer's spec. Then go back to your printer and tell 'em that you have a PDF from your Arabic translation provider that should be bound spine right, and watch as their jaws drop.

          • 2. Re: Binding Direction
            iop752 Level 1

            Here's a screenshot that I hope helps clarify the issue.  The biggest problem here is that my company is printing this job. This is one of 5 languages going into the same book. So, my job is to save out each InDesign file as a pdf file. Then combine all pdf files into one book that will be 236 pages long. Now, when I combine all of the pdf files, the arabic one comes in the way you see it. They come in 8,9,10,11,12,13, and so on.If you look at the screenshot, page 8 starts the section, but due to the fact that they are using the Middle Eastern version of inDesign, I can't do anything because the English version of InDesign that I have doesn't have binding preferences in the New Document dialog box.Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.13.14 PM.png

            • 3. Re: Binding Direction
              Joel Cherney Level 5



              What they have provided is exactly correct.


              I've done a few multilingual books like the one you are describing, and for me the Only Right Way to do it is to have a book with two covers. No, seriously. From the point of view, as an English reader, you put the arabic "last" in your five-language book. Give the Arabic its own front cover on the "back" cover of your book. Since you are compiling your book by adding all of the pages in PDF (not a workflow I love but your question isn't about "how to assemble a multilingual book") then I'd make my PDF by exporting your PDF with Page Range of 44,43,42,41,40,39, and so on. By exporting your pages in a specified order, you should be able to avoid the forty-four Insert Pages from PDF actions that it sounds like you're trying to avoid.


              Or you could just say "I just don't give a ____" to your Arabic readership and bind it spine left, and force them to flip through the pages backwards-for-them. The spreads should read backwards-to-you even so, because your Arabic readership will expect to read the recto first and the verso second. The same trick of specifying page ranges at PDF export should work for you here.

              • 4. Re: Binding Direction
                iop752 Level 1

                lol!!  I know that we received the file correctly from the translator, but the client wants to bind the book so the arabic pages appear exactly as the other languages. It's not my decision to make, our product is dictated by the clients requests.

                So, you're saying that if I export the pdf file, and specify the page order, it'll be created in that order?  I will try that immediately. If that works, thank you very much.

                • 5. Re: Binding Direction
                  Joel Cherney Level 5

                  Yeah, exporting specified page ranges is the way to go for you here.


                  (I guess you are then saying "My client doesn't give a ___" to their Arabic readership. Fair enough. )

                  • 6. Re: Binding Direction
                    iop752 Level 1

                    Well, it's not that kind of book really.  It's not continued from one page to the other. More like a catalog where you'll have an item on one page, and description on the facing page. I guess that's why it's not that big of a deal to them. I also found within the pdf file that I can change the binding there after I output the pdf in the specified order. Thank you very much for all of your help. It's appreciated.

                    • 7. Re: Binding Direction
                      Joel Cherney Level 5

                      It looked like instructions from the pages panel view - but I guess if it's a catalog, then there's no real "reading order," right? No harm in reading about one fancy watch before or after another, I suppose. I hereby retract all my blanked-out nasty words in this thread. Glad I could be of assistance.