Publication Margins

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Sometimes, when people design their own publication, we have to adjust the margins. This poses a problem when we are working with a pdf file.

Let’s look at the margins. Suppose you are designing a program leaflet for a special occasion. You want to print it on a letter size sheet and fold it in the middle. You are now working with four page surfaces, each 5.5 x 8.5 inches.

But, you will be printing this on front and back of a single sheet of paper. Therefore you will have two pages on each side.

Side one will have page four on the left side and page one on the right side. Side two will have page two on the left side and page three on the right. (Left side is always even, right side always odd.)

If you are working in MS Word:

  1. Set your page size to 8.5 x 11 inches
  2. Set margins to half inch all around
  3. Set orientation to landscape
  4. Set column number to 2
  5. Set column spacing to 1 inch

You need the full one inch spacing in the middle to have a half inch spacing on either side of the fold.

These principles hold if you are printing a three-fold brochure also. You can set it up on a single page. For brochures, the outer margin is generally a quarter inch and the column spacing would be a half inch.

The right hand column would be the front, the middle column is the back, and the left hand column tucks inside the interior of the brochure. If you want to use this brochure as a mailer, the middle column on the outside is the one you would use for your return address and the address of the recipient.

When you have these margins exact, you can export your file as a pdf, and your printer can simply print it without having to adjust or to charge additional setup costs

First published on Facebook as WWYPS Tip for July 22, 2016.



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