About .pdf reading spreads and individual pages

What is a spread?

A spread is the name for what you see when you look at an open book or publication – two pages side by side that can have text and images across the central joining between the 2 individual pages.

What are pdf reading spreads

Reading spreads are an on-screen representation of a double page spread as a single image.

Designing booklets and publications with desktop publishing software is quick and easy and it is essential for designers to be able to show clients a digital proof. They show 2 or more sequential pages next to each other. For example, page 2 on the left and page 3 on the right. If an image runs across the centre fold of a booklet it can be previewed in a logical manner using reading spreads.

What are individual pages

Individual pages are the single pages that make up a document.

These pages generally run in sequential order too, with the front cover as the first page of the .pdf and the back cover as the last page of the .pdf but they differ because they are not joined with their sequential partner to form a spread. This means parts of your document may appear ‘cut in half’ when reviewing the file digitally.

What should I provide when I send a file for print?

Provide individual pages in almost all circumstances

We use special print-production software to collate your pages in the correct manner for print and it needs individual pages to work properly. If you require your prints to be bound at any point in the production process it is best to send us single pages.

Provide pdf spreads only when you want to review your document spreads as flat, unbound prints

If you want your prints to be provided as flat spreads for review then you may want to provide us with reading spreads. This is only circumstance when sending reading spreads is the best option.

I only have my file as reading spreads – can you still help me to print it?

In some situations we may be able to separate your file using our .pdf splitting software. This will not work with the most recent versions .pdf formats and in many cases you will need to re-export your file from InDesign.