Printing a Google Document in Booklet Layout

Google Docs is gradually improving into a fairly capable word processor, but there are still one or two features available in many other word processors that haven’t yet made it into Docs. One such feature is the ability to print documents in booklet format, i.e. to print the pages side by side on a page turned to landscape format.

There are a few things you could do to work around this problem.

You could make a two-column layout, as I described in this previous post, but it’s a lot of work and leaves you with a document that’s harder to edit.

You could also use templates, but that still means changing the layout of your document.

My favourite way to deal with the problem is to leave the Google document unchanged, but download it as a PDF file. I can then open the file in Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader application, which supports booklet printing:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Acrobat Reader will handle all the font resizing, border size calculations and so on. It will also allow you to tweak the page order (necessary if you are printing a book using multiple nested sheets of paper). Adobe Reader is supported on Windows and Mac. (The Linux version appears to be no longer supported by Adobe).

If you’re a Linux user, you may find that the default PDF viewer doesn’t offer this feature. Instead, you can download your document in open document format (.odt) and print it using LibreOffice:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

I’d be interested to hear if anyone has a similar solution for Chromebook users?

Note: I realize that there are other packages, such as Microsoft Office, that also allow booklet printing, but many such packages are not free, so I haven’t mentioned them here.