Whether you’re making a program for an upcoming community theatre event, an educational booklet for patients in your medical office or just want to see your words and designs in print, there’s no need to pay hefty fees for graphic designers and desktop publishers. You can create your own booklets using a desktop publishing program at home, taking advantage of digital images already on your computer and adding in your own text and headlines. Although a requirement for printing A5 paper is outside the scope of inexpensive home printers, you can still create an A5 booklet within just a few minutes’ time.
Open a desktop publishing program and create a new document. Pull down the “File” menu and select “Page Setup.” Select the “Custom” option and type in 16.54 inches by 11.66 inches as your dimensions. A5 page size is 8.27 inches by 5.83 inches, so to make a folded booklet, you’ll need to double those specifications. Click “OK” and your page automatically adjusts.
Click the ruler on the left side of the screen and drag your cursor into the middle of the page. This provides a guide, which doesn’t print on your booklet, but will distinguish the two pages from where they need to be folded after printing.
Pull down the “Insert” menu and select “Page.” Click the “Duplicate all objects” button, leave the others as their defaults and click “OK.” A second page is added to the page count at the bottom of the screen. You now have the minimum number of pages to make the booklet, since you’ll be printing front and back and folding in the middle.
Pull down the “Insert” menu again and select “Picture.” Click “From File,” then navigate to a location on your computer where you have a digital photo. Double-click the photo, then drag it into place on the booklet. Repeat to add photos to all of the pages.
Click the “Text” tool, which looks like an index card with an “A” on it on the very left toolbar. Draw a rectangular text box near the top of the right side of the first page. Type the booklet’s title or headline. Highlight the text and use the text toolbar at the top of the page to make the font bigger, change the font and use a new colour.
Add more text boxes throughout the booklet, typing in booklet information and changing the text format to your preferences.
Save the booklet by pulling down the “File” menu and clicking “Save As.” Give the booklet a name and a destination on your computer.
Desktop publishing programs include Microsoft Publisher (which may be included as part of your Microsoft Office Suite) and Adobe InDesign (which is part of the Adobe Creative Suite). Each offers a free trial download, so test out booklet creation in each to compare ease of use. You can also try making booklets in Microsoft Word or another word processing software, but these programs are much less user-friendly with layout and design positioning and possibilities. Their focus is more on text. ~ An A5 booklet is outside the standard printing capability of a basic home printer, which usually prints 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper or possibly 11-inch by 17-inch paper. Most simple home printers won’t print double-sided, either. In most cases, you’ll have to take your booklet to a local print shop or send the files to an online printing company to be able to produce something in A5 size.