Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Making a Personal sized page

As this is my first tutorial on making bespoke inserts for your filofax I'm going to go over the basics and try to be as detailed, and as straight forward, as I can.

Platform: Mac

Software: InDesign CS5.5

Step 1: Page Size
Before we do anything we need to know what size page we are going to be working with, so start by choosing the organiser you want to use and find the right paper size for it using the official filofax size guide, shown below.

Official filofax paper sizes.
I'm going to be making a page for my Personal sizes filofax, so it needs to be 95mm (9.5cm) wide by 171mm (17.1cm) high. If you're using the US site the measurements are given in inches; due to the nature of the imperial measuring system, the sizes are not 100% correct. I recommend using millimetres and centimetres as a more accurate alternative.

Be sure to set your orientation to portrait, if you're following along.

Step 2: Margins
The margins of the page will help up make sure that our content is correctly placed on the page. This means that we shouldn't lose any content in the centre margin where the rings live or come uncomfortably close to the outer edges of the page, though it does appear that filofax likes to run its lines right to the edge on its note paper.

Feel free to measure your own existing pages for spacing. For now I'm going to use my own readings from a filofax address page.

Remember to 'break the link' between the measurements.

As this is for a right hand page, the left margin needs to be bigger. If we were to make a left hand page, the left and right measurements would have to be swapped.

Step 3: Bleed
Adding a bleed to our page allows us to add features, designs or colour, that extend right to the very edge of the page by letting it print beyond it for us to cut off later. 3mm should be enough for us to work with and not waste too much ink or paper. You can ignore the Slug.

Leave that slug to its lettuce!

Step 4: Click OK!
Give that friendly looking OK button a slap, we're ready to make our page!

You should be left with something that looks a bit like this...

Black = page. Purple = margin box. Red = bleed.
That's how to make a personal sized page in InDesign!

I will show you how to print this later on this week because this post is already far too long :)


  1. nice idea with the bleeding. As Always: "Why haven´t I thought about that??"

    1. It's a sneaky trick used in the print industry. The down side is that you have to print on A3 paper if you want a full colour A4.


  2. I've been struggling with this on the pc and wishing I could use my fairly new, still unfamiliar but already preferred mac air. Maybe this will give me confidence to try. Thanks for taking the time to write this,

  3. It might be worth doenloading a demo of InDesign and playing around with it. Software like that produces results far better than Word.

    I'm glad you appreciate my tutorial :)

    If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask.

    1. Apologies, Paul, for my spelling. My phone is more than difficult to type on.


  4. I'll do that, most of my friends have a Mac so someone is bound to have it. Do you know if it's an easy task to add crop marks, like Ray Blake does on his many inserts? I find them really useful for guillotining.

    1. you're in luck! I covered crop marks in my very late post last night:

      Hopefully it will be of some help to you :)

      I can't recommend a guillotine for cutting with crop marks as you will lose half of the guides. A blade and metal ruler work a lot better, but aren't as safe or as quick.

      A pale stroke around the edge of the page might work better for group cutting.


  5. Many thanks for the tutorial very clear. I have a Personal size Filofax would it be possible to show how to insert ruled lines on the page in your next tutorial?

    1. I shall get on it within the week!

      Thank you for the suggestion :D