Saturday, 1 December 2012

How to print a custom page

Following on from my post on making a personal sized page, here's how to print your work of art.

While there are other ways to print our pages, I feel it is important to cover this method as it will make future designs that require it easier to cover.

Here we go! 

Platform: Mac

Software: InDesign CS5.5

Where we left off...

Step 1: Save as a PDF
In order to make our page printable and cut-out-able, we need to place it onto a page that our home printers can handle. The simplest way to do this is to save our document as a PDF. To do this go to File, then Export and save it where you like, making sure the file format is Adobe PDF (Print) by using the drop down menu at the bottom of the window.

File > Export
File Format

Step 2: Marks and Bleeds
So that we know where to cut once we've printed our pages, we need to include something called Crop Marks in our PDF. After clicking the save button, you should have a new dialogue box on your screen titled "Export Adobe PDF".

Saving with Crop Marks

All you have to do is click Marks and Bleeds, then select the box next to Crop Marks. Doing this adds marks to your PDF that allow you to cut it to the right size... as long as you cut it out like a window and not right to the edge of your A4 piece of paper.

Step 3: Placing on a page
Now we need somewhere to put our personal page. Make a new A4 landscape document, not worrying about all the fancy bleed and margin stuff we played with last time.

No need to be fancy here.

This should give you a blank A4 page on which we will be able to fit two personal sized pages!

Step 4: Placing our page
In order to place our personal page onto our new A4, we have to follow a pretty obvious sequence: File, Place, then find the document you want and click Open! You should be left with something like this...


If you think this looks odd, try hitting "W" for a print preview.

Our page to print, minus the margins and boundary boxes.

How's that for weird?

It's up to you whether you print your page now or play Tetris and try to fit as many personals onto your A4 page as possible.

Step 5: Printing
All that's left for us to do is print by following another exceptionally obvious path: File, Print!

It really couldn't be any easier :)

The dialogue box that follows isn't important to us right now, so make sure that your printer is on and click print again!

Your lovely pages should be with you soon after.

Step 6: Spend far too long punching holes in your pages...
I highly recommend using a filofax hole punch of the relevant size, or carefully punching them with what ever jiggery-pokery you use to get your pages to fit into your binder.

If there is enough interest, I will cover how to mark out where the holes should go, in a future post.

Happy printing! :)


  1. Emma, thanks again for this. The crop marks came at just the right time (or a week too late to save me a lot of frustration). I spent ages trying to do this in WORD on the PC. Almost got there, in that it was sufficient to do what I needed, but took far too much time and effort. And I've been wanting to know how to put hole markers in for ages, just so I can see how much space I can squeeze out of pasting text into a page. SO yes please to the punch holes! Also, could I ask for a request? I'm a big user of personal tri-fold paper, as I have some big tables I need to carry with me for work. I used Ray Blake's template ( as a guide but when I place a different image or table, or text, into the area, the crop marks move and every loses alignment. Could you manage a tri-fold template? I have spent ages trying to do two things: first, paste a table into that tri-fold space and keep the crop marks. Second, be able to paste into the three separate pages, like columns, but again, I haven't managed to work out how to do it.

    I love these tutorials, they take something which I have no hope of working out on my own, and enabling people to do it themselves. Many thanks!

    1. I think they may be moving because the marks have been drawn inside the Word document, instead of outside like those made by InDesign, so they will be shunted around by any images you try to import.

      Right now I can only see one way to solve this problem if you prefer Word to InDesign.

      I'll see what I can do :)