How can I print two pages on one sheet of paper?
Users often want to print two copies of a document on a single sheet of paper. This may be to save paper or for other reasons. There are two ways to print “2 pages per sheet” in Word, and which you should use depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Because both options have the same name (“2 pages per sheet”), they are easily confused, but choosing the method suitable for your purposes is very important!
Suppose you have already created a Letter or A4 poster and now decide that you would like to print small fliers using the same design. Instead of starting from scratch to recreate the design at the smaller size, you can use one of two settings in Word’s Print dialog to change the size of the document. To access the Print dialog:
Scale to paper size
If you actually have smaller paper (A5 or 5˝″ × 8˝″), and your printer is capable of printing that size paper, you can use the setting to “Scale to paper size,” as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Note that this is not a method of printing 2-up—just of printing at a reduced size.
The paper sizes available in the “Scale to paper size” dropdown are determined by your printer driver and will represent the sizes the selected printer is capable of printing. Within these limitations, you may also be able to scale small documents up to print on larger paper.
Pages per sheet
A much more common scenario is that you want to reduce a large document to print twice on the same sheet. Another setting in the Print dialog allows you to print multiple pages per sheet. At least in theory, you can print 2, 4, 6, 8, or 16 copies of a page on a single sheet, as shown above in Figure 2 and below in Figures 3 and 4.
Results can be unpredictable, with users reporting unexpected orientation for multiple pages above two, but for two pages, you can fairly confidently expect that you will get two landscape pages, one above the other, on a portrait sheet or two portrait pages side by side on a landscape sheet.
Depending on your printer, you may be able to avoid Word’s “Pages per sheet” setting altogether. Many printer drivers offer options for printing multiple pages on a sheet. You can click Properties or Printer Properties in the Print dialog or backstage to explore these options.
Alternatively, if you have a version of Word that allows you to save a document as a PDF, you can open that PDF in Adobe Reader and explore the options for printing multiple pages per sheet in its Print dialog.
If you haven't already created your document, you have the option of using a much more satisfactory method of printing two pages per sheet. This setting is on the Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog. To access the Page Setup dialog:
The result is shown in Figures 5 and 6.
The Preview in the dialog shows you the result when you select “2 pages per sheet” in the “Multiple pages” dropdown. Note that, if you want two portrait pages side by side, you must choose Landscape orientation; if you choose Portrait orientation, you will get two landscape pages, one above the other.
Before this option was introduced in Word 2000, users used newspaper-style columns, tables, or text boxes to simulate two pages on a sheet. The advantage of this new option over such workarounds is that Word actually treats the half-sized page just like any other page: you can have multiple columns on the page, a header and footer (with page number), a page border—anything you would put on a full-sized page.
When you get the hang of using this option, you'll find lots of applications for it. For example, you can create inserts for 3″ × 4″ name badges 2-up on 4″ × 6″ cards by using the landscape-on-portrait orientation. Each insert is its own page, so you can, if you like, add a page border or graphics (this is much harder to do if you use the table-based template provided with badge products). If you need to reprint specific badges, each badge is a separate page, so you can just specify the pages to print, and they'll print 2-up on the number of cards needed. Similarly, if you want to create some sort of form or certificate on half a page, you can use “2 pages per sheet,” create the certificate once, and print it twice by printing pages 1,1.
Expanding on the “2 pages per sheet” option that was new in Word 2000, Word 2002 introduced the “Book fold” option. When you select this option, as shown in Figure 7, the result will appear just the same as with “2 pages per sheet” (and you should read the previous section and especially the Important Notes). You will work on half-sized pages in page-number order (1, 2, 3, etc.) just as you would in any document. But when you print the document, Word will juggle the pages so that they can be folded into a booklet. For example, if your booklet has eight pages, Word will print pages 8 and 1 on the same sheet, 2 and 7 on another (or on the back of the same sheet if you are duplexing), 6 and 3 on the next, and so on. When you put the pages together in order, you can then fold them in half and staple them in the fold.
There is a limit to the number of pages that can satisfactorily be printed as a single booklet; this limit is roughly 100. (A duplexed booklet of 100 pages uses 25 sheets of paper; when it is folded and trimmed, the margins on the outside pages will be noticeably smaller than those on the inside pages.) For this reason, Word offers the option to print a document in “signatures” of 4 to 40 pages. If you print the document this way, you will need to use another binding method (rather than center stapling).
Of course, your booklet doesn't have to be 100 pages long! You can use the “Book fold” option to print a church bulletin or theater program that has just four or eight pages—one or two folded sheets.
This article copyright © 2014 by Suzanne S. Barnhill.