Visit our updated article, How to Convert an 11 x 17 Print Layout PDF to Single 8.5 x 11 Pages, which provides more detailed instructions.
Businesses often need to send or post their completed newsletter, brochure or catalog online. The easiest and most practical format for distributing a document is the PDF. The PDF is superior to other formats because everyone has access to it, your document maintains its format, and you can secure the document from being edited. However, if your document is an 11 x 17″ spread laid out for print, your document will not read in consecutive pages. You will need to divide the document into individual 8.5 x 11″ pages. There are two methods for dividing your print layout: by cropping your PDF after it has been created or by manually dividing each spread into new documents.
Method 1: Create and Crop Your PDF
The fastest way to separate your template into individual pages is to create a PDF of the document and crop it within Adobe Acrobat. Note that Adobe Reader does not have this capability. If your text spreads across the fold line, you will want to rearrange those elements. Once you are ready to crop your PDF, follow these steps:
- Create your PDF.
- Copy each spread in the Pages panel, so you have two of each document.
Tip: To copy a page, hold the Ctrl and Option keys and drag the page thumbnail to a second location.
- On the first spread, right click on the thumbnail in the Pages panel and choose Crop Pages.
- Under margin controls, enter 8.5 into the box for the left margin. Click Ok.
- On spread 2, enter 8.5 into the box for the right margin. Click Ok.
- On spread 3, enter 8.5 into the box for the right margin. Click Ok.
- On spread 4, enter 8.5 into the box for the left margin. Click Ok.
- Drag the second page to the last spot on the Pages panel.
Method 2: Manually Cut and Paste the Template into New Documents
If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, you can still manually divide your design into consecutive pages. You may have to readjust text or graphics that lay across the fold lines before dividing your spreads.
- Open your design. Some applications, including Microsoft Word, may have two documents.
- Create a new document with four pages.
- Select the right half of your first spread.
Tip: Visit Microsoft Office Online for help with selecting objects in Microsoft Word.
- Group the objects.
- Copy and paste into the first page of the blank document you created.
- Repeat the steps to place the remaining pages into the appropriate blank pages.
- Create a PDF when you are finished.