How to Make a Two-Sided InDesign Document

By Andrew Tennyson

Adobe InDesign treats each side of a printed sheet as a separate page. To make a two-sided document in InDesign, create a two-page project. From there, how you print the two-page project as a two-sided document depends on the capabilities of your printer.

Step 1

Click “File” on the main menu in InDesign and select “New” to launch the New Document dialog where you specify the size, orientation and layout of new projects.

Step 2

Click the “Number of Pages” field and enter “2.” Remove the check mark from the “Facing pages” field unless you plan to have content extend from one side of the page to the other.

Step 3

Click the “Page Size” drop-down menu and select the size of paper you are going to be printing on. The standard size in North America is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. If you plan to use a nonstandard size, check your printer's capabilities to make sure it can print nonstandard-size documents.

Step 4

Select the desired page orientation. You can select either portrait or landscape.

Step 5

Adjust the columns and margins values. By default, the document is set up for one column. Change this value if you know you will be adding content in multiple columns.

Step 6

Click “OK” to apply the new document settings and then proceed with the design of your document. Press "Ctrl-Page Up" and "Ctrl-Page Down" to move from one page to the other in your project. Add content to both pages of the document. To add text to a page, select the "Type" tool and click it at the location where you want to insert your text. Click the "Character Formatting" icon to change the font face, size, color and formatting. To add graphics, click "File" on the main menu and select "Place." Browse to the graphic file and double-click it to add it to your InDesign project. Click and drag the graphic to the desired location.

Step 7

Click "File" on the main menu and select "Print" or press “Ctrl-P” on your keyboard to launch InDesign’s Print dialog. The options vary depending on your printer. If your printer has duplex-printing support, turn it on and then print the document. If your printer does not support duplex printing, print only the first page of the document, flip the paper over and then print the second page on the blank side of the paper.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can customize gutters and margins to make a two-sided document more interesting. For example, if you want an image or text to cross over from one side of the document to the other, place a check mark in the “Facing pages” check box on the New Document dialog and set the margins to zero on the side you want the content to cross over.
  • Consult your printer’s documentation to determine whether it supports duplex printing. Older printers with duplex support may not have two-sided printing capabilities when connected to computers running the Windows 8 or 8.1 operating systems. In some instances, you can download updated drivers from the manufacturer’s website to update the compatibility of an older printer.
  • Most modern photocopiers support two-sided copying. If you want to print multiple copies of your document and your printer doesn’t support two-sided printing, save yourself the hassle of manually flipping each page by printing an original with your printer and then copying the two-sided document with a photocopier.