Whether you need to print a booklet for a work or school project, or you just want to use less paper when printing out a large document, you can do so from your Mac. It can just be tricky to format and plan the booklet properly for the printing.
Or is it? Here are several apps and methods that can make creating and printing booklets on your Mac incredibly easy. Read on to see what options are out there and use your favorite the next time you need to print a booklet.
1. Printing a Booklet in Preview and Pages
You can absolutely print booklets in the built-in Preview and Pages apps on your Mac. Doing so just necessitates manually rearranging the pages of a PDF or Pages document.
To do this manual rearrangement, you need to understand how booklets are formatted and bound. Booklets are printed double-sided, with one half of one side of a piece of printer paper being one page of a booklet.
Each piece of paper therefore has four pages on it, and they’re folded in half. These folds are overlaid so that they can be stapled or sewn together to let the pages be flipped through like a book.
For this to work, the pages have to be arranged and printed on the pieces of paper in an order that results in the pages being in numerical order when put into booklet form.
As a hopefully illustrative example, the printing arrangement on an eight-page booklet looks like this:
- Pages 8 and 1 on the first side of the first sheet of paper.
- Pages 2 and 7 on the second side of the first sheet of paper.
- Pages 6 and 3 on the first side of the second sheet of paper.
- Pages 4 and 5 on the second side of the second sheet of paper.
You can create the content of a booklet in Pages or Preview in any order you like, and simply move the pages into the proper printing arrangement later. It’s just important to make sure your total page count is a multiple of four.
To rearrange pages of a document in Preview, select View > Thumbnails, then click and drag the pages in the thumbnail window into any order you wish.
To rearrange pages in Pages, it must be a Page Layout document. Start in that format, or click File > Convert to Page Layout to change it. While in Page Layout, select View > Page Thumbnails and click and drag the thumbnails into their new printing order.
To print a booklet from Preview or Pages, click File > Print or press Cmd + P, which is the Mac keyboard shortcut for printing. Hit the Show Details button, if available.
In Pages, change the Pages dropdown menu to Layout, and change the Preview dropdown to Layout in Preview. Set the Two-Sided dropdown to Booklet, then hit Print.
As you can see, making booklets with these built-in programs is very possible—it’s just not that easy because you have to arrange the pages yourself. A task which gets harder the more pages your booklet has.
If that doesn’t intimidate you, great. If it does, you may want to check out some of the programs below, which do the page arranging for you. Just know they’ll cost you money, while this method is free.
2. Make Your Booklet in Create Booklet 2
As we said above, arranging pages into the proper order to print them as a booklet can be difficult, particularly if you have a long booklet to print. Create Booklet 2 makes this process incredibly easy though by doing all the arranging for you.
Upload pretty much any file into Create Booklet 2 and the app will rearrange the pages for you into the right order for printing right away. Before you print you’ll be able to edit your booklet or even make a booklet right in the app.
This convenience comes with a price, though. At $19.99, Create Booklet 2 is moderately expensive. But with so many template and customization options in an easy-to-use interface, the price might be worth it to you for the incredible convenience Create Booklet 2 offers.
Download: Create Booklet 2 ($19.99)
3. Use Booklet for Booklet Creation on a Mac
A much cheaper option for an app that arranges booklet pages for you is Booklet. At just $0.99, Booklet doesn’t have as many features as Create Booklet 2. But it still arranges pages for printing perfectly, which might be all you need.
Booklet can only arrange PDFs, but thankfully there are sites like PDFBear, which make converting files to PDF format very easy. Booklet can handle documents with right-to-left languages as well as left-to-right ones, so lots of booklets are possible with it.
You can also alter page orientation and add page numbers to a file in Booklet. Its editing options are limited overall, but you’re still avoiding the major headache of page arranging for a very low price. Sometimes a basic program is all you really need.
Download: Booklet ($0.99)
Print Booklets on Mac Your Way
It’s good to know you can print booklets with apps already in place on your Mac. But it’s also good to know that there are apps out there that make printing booklets really easy, and a lot less time consuming.
Whatever method you choose, based on price, time, or faith in your own skills, we hope our guide to useful booklet printing solutions for Mac helps you with your future booklet printing endeavors.
Learn how to print double-sided on your Mac so you can start saving more paper.