Print Booklet in InDesign CS3
Many of you are familiar with the InBooklet SE plug-in which was included with InDesign CS2 for doing simple impositions. (Impositions, sometimes called “printer spreads,” arrange the pages in the order needed for printing.) In InDesign CS3, this has been replaced with Print Booklet, available from the File menu.
Why was InBooklet SE replaced? It was created by ALAP, a very good plug-in developer. ALAP had a more full-featured imposition package called Imposer Pro. Adobe paid ALAP to develop a simpler version which was originally included with the Pagemaker Plug-in Pack for InDesign CS to replace a simple imposition plug-in in Pagemaker. InBooklet SE was then rolled into InDesign CS2. The problem was that Quark (the company—not the software) bought ALAP and dropped ALAP’s InDesign products. That meant that Adobe had to develop imposition on its own.
When you open Print Booklet the interface looks similar to that of InBooklet, and the features are very much the same. It opens to the Setup panel, where you set the basic parameters of the imposition. The features are only designed for simple booklets—2-up Saddle Stitch, 2-up Perfect Bound, and 2-up, 3-up, and 4-up Consecutive. But there are more sophisticated controls like “creep,” which compensates for the effect of the innermost pages getting narrower in a thick booklet.
There are a couple essential differences from InBooklet SE, however. One of InBooklet’s features was the ability to create a separate InDesign file of the imposed pages. While this was a nice feature, it sometimes didn’t work correctly—especially when you had images crossing over the pages of the spread, or with more complex formatting like anchored objects. I believe that when InBooklet created an imposition, it had to build the pages itself, it couldn’t rely on InDesign’s own internal print mechanism. This process probably broke down with more complex layouts.
So that feature was dropped in Print Booklet. Print Booklet only produces impositions as part of the printing process. Instead, there is a much closer relationship between the Print Booklet dialog box and the Print dialog box. Notice that you can even choose a Print Preset (shown at the top of the Setup panel). To switch to the Print dialog box, just click Print Settings at the bottom of the dialog box.
Imagine I want to create a 2-up Saddle Stitch imposition. I make the choices and click Preview to view a preview of the page.
I’m warned the page doesn’t fit because I have the wrong printer selected. I can just click Print Settings, which opens the Print dialog box. I choose the proper printer, choose the paper size I need, add printer’s marks using the Print dialog box controls. When I click OK in the Print dialog box, I’m immediately taken back to the Setup panel in Print Booklet. Now everything fits perfectly!
When I described Print Booklet on the InDesign Mac User Forum, a couple people were upset because they needed to send the imposition to their printer. (One of them was a designer who had taken over the in-house layout for a small printer, for example.) I said, “No problem!” Just choose the Adobe PDF printer installed by Acrobat 7 or 8 in the Print dialog box. It will create a perfect PDF using Distiller in the background. Below is a portion of my sample 16-page layout as a PDF imposition. I included images which crossed over the spread to see how Print Booklet handled it, and it did just fine.