Printing Booklets

Question: I have a 4-page manual in FrameMaker that I save as Adobe PDF. The pages are 8.5 x 11 inches and I’d like to print them 2 per side on 11 x 17 pages, duplexed, so that they can be folded in half and become a leaflet. However, when I print the PDF, the 8.5 x 11 pages seem to be formatted for 11 x 17, then shrunk to fit side by side. Unfortunately, this makes the end result smaller than printing 8.5 x 11 pages.

I’m using Adobe Acrobat Professional 6.0.0 5/19/2003 with Windows XP and printing to an HP LaserJet 9000 printer (although I’ve tried a few others and had the same result). I read a couple of other posts from people who wanted to do the same thing, and they were told to try the multiple-up pages, but I’ve been trying that and getting the result I described above.
Suggestions and Their Results

I received several suggestions, but none of them worked for me. However, they did lead me to the eventual solution.

Suggestion 1:
Go back to the FrameMaker source file and format it for tabloid pages (11×17), but make the text areas letter-size (8.5 x 11).

Result: I had neglected to mention that I’m using structured FrameMaker and conditional text, so there are five flavours (and counting) of the file. Since I don’t want to reformat these documents five times (multiplied by every time I generate them), I have to change the source file. Also, when I change the text flow to put the last page first, FrameMaker won’t let me do it (which makes sense), not to mention, it breaks the structure.

Suggestion 2: The problem might be the Distiller settings, or the Adobe settings and printer settings are getting in each other’s way.

Result: I tried setting the printer settings from the Control Panel instead, and tried using the Adobe PDF printer driver and just printing to a file, but I got the same results.

Suggestion 3:
Buy some software such as Quite Imposing ( or Clickbook ( that would allow you to do layout with PDF documents.

Result: Quite Imposing costs more money than I was willing to spend for a print run of a few dozen. Clickbook was a definite possibility, but I wasn’t ready to give up trying to solve the problem with my existing tools.

Suggestion 4:
Give the PDF to a printing shop and get them to do the proper layout.

Result: I didn’t try this because I didn’t want to spend the money.


What worked for me is that I finally put together the ideas “printer driver” and “booklet,” and some suggestions that I get the company to buy a fancier printer. I changed to the sophisticated color copier/scanner/printer in the office. I found the “booklet” option in the printer settings and started to play with it. I got what I wanted by not choosing 2-up, choosing Booklet, and printing the pages in reverse order.

In conclusion, I think that I should have called this booklet printing, not 2-up. It can’t be done on all printers, and if you don’t have a printer with the Booklet option, you should look at Clickbook or a printing house.