Printing booklets from a home computer and printer is a cost-effective way for small businesses, community organizations and nonprofit groups to distribute information to clients. Desktop publishing software allows users to copy and paste raw text, insert images, format content and set the dimensions of the booklet with a few clicks of the mouse. Even people without extensive computer experience can create and print professional-looking booklets with the proper software and a color printer.
Write the text for the booklet using a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Compose and save all of the text in a single document.
Collect the digital images for the booklet in a single folder on your computer. The images can be clip art, photos from a digital camera, diagrams, charts or other content.
Open a desktop publishing program, such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign, and select a blank booklet or newsletter template.
Choose the size and number of pages you want, including the front and back cover. A convenient size to choose is 8.5 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide, the dimensions of a sheet of 8.5 inch by 11 inch printer paper folded in half--but remember that a single sheet of paper will offer four pages in your booklet, so the number of pages you choose should be divisible by four.
Copy and paste the text from the word processing document into the booklet template. You can copy and paste the entire text at once and link the text boxes in the booklet template so the text flows seamlessly through the document. Or, copy and paste each page of text onto separate pages and don't link the boxes. Using the program's formatting tools, select the font, size and color of the text.
Insert the digital images into the booklet template.
Select the print option in the desktop publishing application and choose the settings for printing your document. Ideally, use a printer that can print two-sided pages. Set the printer you wish to use, the paper orientation, the number of copies and the color balance (optional) for optimum appearance. Collate the output to make assembling the booklets easy.
Print the booklets. If your printer cannot print two-sided copies, print the booklet one page at a time and re-feed the page after it prints so the content will print on the other side. For each collated copy, fold in half (if you've chosen the 8.5 by 5.5 size) and staple along the spine. For other sizes, staple along the left edge or at the top-left corner.
Use the desktop publishing software's page layout palette to navigate through your document. This palette shows the booklet layout with the pages numbered in the order they'll print. The active page (where you can enter text and photos) will be highlighted on the layout, making it easy to jump between pages and keep track of your progress.