Printing Multiple Copies of a Single Page on a Sheet in OS X

This is something that was making me crazy : getting multiple copies of a page into a single sheet in OS X — think of small fliers or business cards. The problem was particularly annoying in Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), where I hoped (in vain) to find an option to do it easily. The straightforward solution (asking on the system Print dialog for multiple pages per sheet, and then asking for multiple copies) doesn’t really work.

The answer is as simple as Columbus’ egg : convert the document to PDF, duplicate the pages manually, and then ask for multiple pages per sheet. It works like a charm !

Need more guidance ? You’re in luck, for I did a video tutorial (my very first — be forgiving) to show the process step by step :

I’m demonstrating the solution on Illustrator CS5, but it works for any page that can be rendered on a PDF, so not only for Illustrator or Photoshop, but also for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, or Apple Pages and Keynote.

Edit 8/dec : there’s a simpler procedure than the one explained above. Once you open the PDF in Preview, don’t duplicate the pages, and choose the number of Copies per page on the Preview tab (not the Layout tab) on the Print system dialog. I would have completely overlooked this if it weren’t for a helpful YouTube commenter, who also suggests that you can avoid the intermediate PDF step in Microsoft Word by, for example, putting  “1, 1, 1, 1” in Page Range (Copies & Pages tab), and then selecting 4 Pages per Sheet (Layout tab).

3 thoughts on “Printing Multiple Copies of a Single Page on a Sheet in OS X

  1. This problem sums up all that is wrong with computers as productivity tools: the people who create the software don’t seem to use it for actual work, so they implement features in ways that are so dumb it almost defies belief. The whole point of “multiple pages per sheet” is to save paper. If I want 10 copies of a single page PDF or whatever, I should not have to duplicate anything before printing. That wastes my time, and wastes storage space if I need to keep the document to print again in the same way. Printing 10 pages, each half full makes zero sense, but that is how the programmers (and whoever signs off on the final product) seem to think it should work.

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