• How to Make Backside Printing Align with the Frontside Print

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    I had assumed that nearly all users already know how to do this, but considering the number of people that have asked me how I did it; I decided to post this very simple and basic tip for those that don’t how to print text for a small area on a regular size sheet of paper and have the printing on the back of that sheet of paper align with the printing on the front of the paper so when cut out will be a small card printed on the front and back.

    This can be performed on any text editor or word processor that allows adjustment of the margins of the document. Even Notepad meets this criteria.

    How to Make Backside Printing Align with the Frontside Print

    When you want to print on both sides of the paper and the size of the job (card, placemat, tag, etc.) is smaller than the paper you will print on so you can cut around the print and have a small card printed on both sides, often the printing on the backside does not align with the print area on the frontside. The instructions below explain how to make the backside print in the exact area behind the frontside printing.

    Printing on both sides of a small card doubles the information the card has and adds a classy touch even if the backside is a graphic or photo.

    Decide how big you want the finished card to be in inches. Example: I will use 3” wide by 2” high for my example, but you can make it any size.

    o Open a new document and select to adjust the margins.
    o For printing on 8.5” x 11” standard stock paper size and using my Example above (3” x 2”):
    Set the Left Margin to 0.5”
    Set the Right Margin to 5.0” = Width of paper (8.5”) minus Left Margin (0.5”) and minus the width of the card (3.0”) leaves 5.0” of paper left which is what is used to set the Right Margin so total width of the paper is used.
    Set the Top Margin to 1.0”
    Set the Bottom Margin to 8.0” = Height of the paper (11”) minus the Top Margin (1.0”) and minus the height of the card (2.0”) leaves 8.0” of paper left which is what is used to set the Bottom Margin so total height of the paper is used.
    o This creates a small box on an 8.5 x 11 document to enter what you want on the frontside of the card. Whatever you enter must fit within this box.
    o Print this frontside document. Remove the document from the printer. Turn the printed document over and place in the printer’s paper feed. Be sure the top of the document is fed in first.
    o Return to the document, select to adjust the margins, and adjust the margins following my example as follows:
    Set the Left Margin to 5.0”
    Set the Right Margin to 0.5”
    Leave the Top and Bottom margins as they are.

    o All you did was swap the Left and Right Margins. Swapping these margins places the data for the backside directly behind the entries on the front side.
    o After changing the Margins the text will move to the right of the document. You can change the text for the backside by replacing the frontside data already there.
    o When you have the backside complete, print the document. It will print on the back of the paper exactly opposite where the front side printed.
    o Cut the card out from the sheet of paper to have a small card which is printed on both sides.

    HTH, Dana:))

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Drcard:)).
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    • #2567669

      If I’m following this correctly this results in a top-left-corner clipping.

      Alternatively, to eliminate resetting the horizontal margins, calculate the margins so that the desired print area is in the horizontal center of the page.

      Geometric visualization: set center of ‘box’ at center of paper. Margins  thus are:
      8.50 / 2 (paper center) – 3.00 / 2 (box center) = (4.25-1.5) = 2.75
      Result:  2.75 + 3.00 + 2.75 = 8.50

      Algebraic equivalent:
      ( Paper width [8.50] – Box width [3.00] ) / 2

      Use the same technique to center vertically.
      So for a 2″ high box on 11″ paper:
      (11.00 – 2.00) / 2 ===> top/bottom margins both at 4.50″

      But be aware that a printer may not be precise in it’s as-printed margins. Experiment with your printer to determine if/what bias(es) need/s to be applied.

      This becomes more interesting if one needs to (for example) position multiple spaced “boxes” (photographs?), and print duplexed. The inter-object spacing (gutters) may not be the same as the page margins. (But this is beyond the one-off ‘simple box’ challenge which Dana is addressing.)

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