How to Set Up & Print a Tabloid Newspaper

Though tabloid newspapers sold on newsstands come in a variety of sizes, the usual format for home printing of tabloids starts with 11-by-17-inch paper, rotates it 90 degrees and folds it in half into a booklet that is essentially made up of 8 1/2 -by-11-inch (letter-sized) pages. This format is perfect for a homemade newspaper that is easily printed, folded, and stapled without any special machinery. Adobe InDesign has a feature that prints this format easily. Other formats of tabloid are possible on InDesign, but may have to be sent to a professional for printing.

Setting Up the Document

Open Adobe InDesign, the Adobe desktop publishing software that can be purchased online or at most stores selling computer software. Click on the "File" menu at the top of the page. Select "New" and from the menu that appears select "Document." This will bring up a new document setup dialog box.

Set the intent window on the box to print, and check the check box next to that window that says "facing pages." Select letter for the page size. In the box, indicating the number of pages. Type in the number of pages that you'd like your newspaper to be, in multiples of four.

If you know how large the margins should be for your paper, or how many columns you'd like it to have, you can enter in that information now in the labeled boxes. These settings can be changed later by selecting the margins and columns option from the layout menu. A good margin for this page size is .5 inches, and 5 columns is good for this page size.

Lay out the publication within the page settings you've created. Place text and photos on the page by selecting place on the file menu or by hitting ctrl+d. This will bring up a window that will let you explore your computer's files and select the photos and/or text you'd like.

Arrange and size the text and photos on the page to your liking with the select tool, the black cursor tool that you can find in the toolbar at the left. Follow the margins and column guides to give your paper an organized look.

Printing the Document

Select print booklet from the file menu at the top of the screen. This will bring up the print booklet dialog box. The print booklet feature allows you to easily print booklets with a double-sided capable printer.

On the print booklet dialog box select all pages to print and choose 2-up Saddle Stitch for the booklet type. You can leave the other settings as they are.

Click on the print settings button on the bottom of the dialog box. This will bring up another dialog box. Select the double-sided capable printer in the printer window at the top. Select setup from the options at the left of the window and make sure that you have the 11-by-17 paper size selected, that the double-sided box is checked, and the orientation set to landscape. Click OK at the bottom of the screen which will take you back to the print booklet dialog box.

Type 1 in the number of copies window. Print a test copy, and if all goes well you can come back to this window to print the full run. Click preview from the list on the left, bringing up a small preview window showing how each sheet will look. If everything looks in order, click print. Your pages will come out of the printer, ready to be stapled.

Select print booklet from the file menu again if your test copy looks good. Indicate the number of copies that you'd like to print.

  • If you do not have a double-sided capable printer, you can print by manually flipping each sheet of paper and sending it back through the printer.
Items you will need
Adobe InDesign
11-by-17-inch paper
Double-sided capable printer
About the Author

Michael Roberts has been writing professionally since 2010. He's written on a wide range of topics for different websites. His eHow articles cover topics in motorcycles, bicycles and other modes of alternative transportation. Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan in 2009.

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