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Expert Advice

Ask a Smartpress Expert: Submitting Files for 2-Sided & Multi-Page Digital Print Projects

I would like to submit a digital print file for a calendar. Should I send a file for each page? Or what is the best way to set up a digital printing file for the smoothest production process of multi-page projects?

Business Card Layout Example Oh, the questions we’ve had lately have been excellent! This is actually something that we talked about in the office recently. The best way to upload a two-sided or multi-paged design is to combine it all into one PDF.

Putting it all into one file makes it easier for us to print your project. When you send multiple files, we have to take the time to put it all together ourselves or send it back to ask that you change it. Our customers don’t like this delay and neither do we, so here is a brief explanation and a quick demonstration of how your two-sided or multi-paged file should be submitted for digital printing.

Calendar Layout Example FileThe first page in your PDF should be the first page you want printed in your file. So if you’re having a two-sided business card printed, the first page in the file should be the first side of your card. If you’re printing calendars, the first page in the file should be the outside cover of your calendar. If you’re printing brochures, the first page in the PDF should be the front-side of your brochure.

The second page of your PDF should be the next page of your multi-paged project or the last side of your two-sided project. So if you’re printing a calendar or booklet, this would be the inside cover of your calendar or booklet. If you’re printing a brochure, the second page in your file would be the brochure’s backside, just as it would be the backside of the business card.

If you have a two-sided digital printing project, such as a business card or a brochure, your file is ready to go! If you have a multi-paged project like printing a booklet or a calendar, there will need to be more pages in your file.

Okay, so the first two pages were your outside and inside cover. The third page of your booklet or calendar would be the first non-cover page inside. This inside page will likely be a different material than your cover, so keep that in mind when you receive your completed digital printing project.  Continue with the pages in processional order for as many pages as you have.

When you reach the back cover, the second-to-last image in the file should be the image that you want to appear on the inside back cover. The very last page will be the back cover.

This is a pretty easy process for saddle-stitch, spiral or coil booklets and calendars. Even though saddle-stitch booklets are constructed in a way that pages are printed on the same sheets, that’s not how the file should be laid out. Though more than one page will ultimately be printed out on each sheet of paper, you don’t have to lay out the pages that way in your PDF file. You can simply lay them out in processional order, just like the calendar, with the front cover first, then inside cover and inside pages, then the inside back cover and the back cover. We’ll get the pages in the right order for you. 

To make this easier, its best to paginate your PDF file once you have all the pages included. Pagination is a useful tool for adding page numbers to a single document created from several smaller documents. To paginate your PDF:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat and select “File” and then “Open.” Select the document you wish to modify from the menu. Double-click on the document to open it.
  2. Select “Document” from the menu bar and then choose “Number Pages.”
  3. From the box that pops up, choose the pages you want to number in the page range section. If you want to number all pages, select the “All” circle from the page range section.
  4. Choose the number style from the “Number” section. Define the starting number and whether you want any prefixes, such as page or section.
  5. Select “OK” to finalize the page numbers.

I hope this helps! And if you have any questions about whether you’re laying the booklet out correctly, customer service reps are available to help you.

Have a question about online printing that you would like to have answered? Leave your question in the comments below or email us at customerservice@smartpress.com and we will do our best to answer your questions.


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