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Affinity Publisher - Multiple double-sided cards on a single sheet of paper?


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I'm interested in using Affinity Publisher to make some double-sided greeting cards, but I'm struggling to figure out a good way to set up the Publisher document for it. Each card, when folded, should be a quarter the size of an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. Because of this, we'd like to print two cards per sheet of paper.

I've included an Affinity Designer sketch of what I'd like to do. The top two boards show what would be printed on each side of the 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. I've marked them with a horizontal dotted line where we would cut the paper, and a vertical solid line where we would fold it to make the cards. The bottom board is a rough illustration of how one of these cards might look when opened.

I was able to find tutorials online that sounded like they'd work when there was only one card per physical sheet, but being able to print two cards at a time is important for us. Other resources led me to the "N-up" layout option in the Print settings. They sound like they're along the right lines, but I had trouble configuring the settings to be quite right...

Might anyone know how I can accomplish the layout depicted in my image? Thanks in advance!

SCR-20231021-szkq.png

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I am not sure if I understood correctly your goal, but have a look on the attached Publisher and Excel data sheet and see if it does the kind of merge you are after (the example file does this for six cards).

image.png.945de15d8c85a9a4f81c0cdbdacc50b2.png

Cards.xlsx

Cards_v02.afpub

NOTE: It seems there is meaning at which point text fields are assigned their field data. I initially did it before having text fields nested into Data Merge Layout controls, and could not get the Advance and Offset index pointers work correctly until deleting the text fields, creating new ones within DML controls and making the field assignments only after that. 

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4 hours ago, thomaso said:

Here for instance with 1 copy of each page (N-Up: "Repeat: 2")

But does not this repeat the same page on the same sheet (e.g. front and back page of card 1 twice on the first sheet, rather than front and back pages of successive two cards)?

This might well be what OP asked-- just printing the same card twice per sheet to save paper, so the solution presented by me is probably an overkill. It would be useful of course in a situation one needs customized greeting cards for multiple people, and because of page imposition job has already been done, would allow problem-free double-sided printing. Data merge would also allow inclusion of custom images defined in the source document, so potentially a quite powerful feature for these kinds of purposes.

Btw., I noticed that on Windows the Layout section does not have Layout direction option, and the printout is still also always in RGB, which may be a limitation whenever needing to produce for printing press (there is no such limitation on macOS).

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3 hours ago, lacerto said:

But does not this repeat the same page on the same sheet (e.g. front and back page of card 1 twice on the first sheet, rather than front and back pages of successive two cards)?

Yes. If the print should be without copies AND one printed sheet should have back/front + inside-left/inside-right correctly, then, of course, the spread order needs to be manually adjusted in the Pages panel.

In this case the option "Repeat" and "Layout: Pages per Sheet" is not used (=1) but instead "N-Up: Across: 2"

printcardsetorder.thumb.jpg.4514b658f4ea632a5dea9998571879ba.jpg

The same result can get achieved without "N-Up" (but "Single") and with the option "Layout: Pages per Sheet: 4"

printcardsetorder2.thumb.jpg.c83258acee0fbf8bb12565087fa1cd3a.jpg

3 hours ago, lacerto said:

I noticed that on Windows the Layout section does not have Layout direction option

The UI missing – or just not working? … To me on mac the four direction buttons are always visible but have an affect only in the option "Single" (no affect for "N-Up").

===
To avoid the print dialog complexity, personally I would prefer to create a layout document that would not need to fiddle around with the Affinity print options. A wanted print setup would get simpler already if the document would not be set as 2 facing page spreads but as single pages of the required 2-page width.

macOS 10.14.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15" | Eizo 27" | Affinity V1 only

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1 hour ago, thomaso said:

The UI missing – or just not working?

UI missing. Perhaps something like this turns up when the context is correct, but I did not spend much time with this, since as you imply, messing with printer settings is known to cause serious headache. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/22/2023 at 5:55 PM, thomaso said:

It seems to be possible if you combine "N-Up" with "Layout: 2 pages". Here for instance with 1 copy of each page (N-Up: "Repeat: 2")

I tried following these steps, but was unable to get the desired result using them. Specifically, once I attempted to set "Pages per sheet" to 2, I started getting some strange results.

The closest I've been able to get so far is with the following setup:

image.thumb.png.e0a3f4f64fb5578ccee1e52aa6604a02.png

This gives me mostly what I'm looking for, except the actual printed page doesn't extend all the way to the edges of the sheet. This sounds like it might be an issue with my printer, rather than with Publisher, but maybe there's something else I'm missing?

Also, as a side note: is the Print page and N-Up options known to be buggy? I've experienced quite a few crashes and difficulties getting them to provide the intended behavior. When I open the Print page, I often have to fiddle with the N-Up settings a bunch to get the preview back to what I want, even though the numbers in the boxes themselves are the same at the end...

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5 hours ago, Meorge said:

This gives me mostly what I'm looking for, except the actual printed page doesn't extend all the way to the edges of the sheet. This sounds like it might be an issue with my printer, rather than with Publisher, but maybe there's something else I'm missing?

This is totally dependent on the printer. I do not know whether it is possible for e.g. a laser printer to print to the edges of the paper, but it certainly is for e.g. many inkjet printers:

image.png.39ad9204019b4e5c0dd59516ef346fd3.png

For commercial printing, one would need to add bleeds (typically with crop marks) and then the job would be printed on oversized paper and trimmed to the desired width and height.

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