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How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

Now that I’m using my smaller planner I’ve had a lot of questions about printing the 5.5″ by 8.5″ planner templates. I always recommend using Adobe Reader – it’s a free application and I’ve ran into less troubleshooting issues with it than other options.

If your settings don’t look exactly like the screenshots below it’s ok – you should still have all the same options. These were taken from Adobe Reader 11 on a Mac running OS X 10.9.5.

Print Settings

After opening the file select Print underneath File in the application menu. This opens the print dialogue box.

Adobe Reader > File > Print:
Print Dialogue Box - How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

You’ll see that the default set-up is for 8.5″ by 11″ paper. To change this we need to add 5.5″ by 8.5″ as an option. In the bottom left corner select Page Setup.

Print Dialogue Box > Page Setup:
Page Setup - How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

From here we want to change the Paper Size. When clicking on that item you’ll see a big list of common paper sizes. Scroll down to the bottom and select Manage Custom Sizes.

Page Setup Box > Paper Size > Manage Custom Sizes:
The left side will show a list of all your custom paper sizes you’ve added. Underneath select the + symbol to add a new one. This creates an Untitled file at the bottom of the list.

Click into Untitled and type 5.5 by 8.5. Then fill in the area to the right with the dimensions. When you select your printer from Non-Printable Area: it should fill in the top, left, right and bottom margins for you.

Custom Paper Sizes - How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

Select OK!

You should be back in the Page Setup window. Here select your printer under Format For:, under Paper Size: select 5.5 by 8.5 and for Orientation: select the little icon standing upright. Like this:
Page Setup - How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

Select OK!

The adjustments in the Print Dialogue Box will depend on your printer and if you want to print the pages individually or all at once. I print all my templates one at a time onto 5.5 by 8.5 paper as I need them – even the months.

Here I’m going to use printing out the 12 months – one at a time – as an example:

On the print screen select your Printer first and make sure the print preview is showing your template the right direction and fitting within your paper. Under Pages to Print > Pages type in 1-12.

The Page Sizing & Handling area will depend on your printer. I scale mine down to 94% so that none of the page is cut off. Yours might be more or less, you really just have to do a test page and adjust it accordingly. Try the Fit option first, hopefully that will work for you.

Print Dialogue Box - How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing


Before we hit Print think about the first month you’re printing. If you start with January do you want it to be on the right side of your planner or on the left so that February is directly across from it in a two month spread? Depending on your preference January should be printed on a sheet by itself or with February on the back.

For this example we’ll have February printed on the back of January so that all months are double sided.

  1. Place ONE sheet of paper in printer.
  2. Hit Print!
  3. Take printed month out of the printer, flip it over and put it back in to print the next month on the other side.
  4. Repeat adding and flipping paper until finished.

It’s important to have only one sheet of paper in the printer at a time or else it will keep printing all the pages on a single side. This way it prints once and then the printer alerts you that you’re out of paper while you flip it over and put it back inside. You could always print the months out one at a time – instead of all 12 – but that adds a bunch of extra clicking around.

Bulk Printing
If you’re doing a huge daily dated set for a year I can see how you’d definitely want to print all at once using the even/odd settings. Laura from I Heart Planners has a great explanation (Steps 3. and 4.) of printing all your pages at once or even printing them 2-up on 8.5″ by 11″ so that when you cut them they’ll be double sided in the right order. Awesome!

How to print 5.5 by 8.5 templates at home by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #discbound #printing

Please let me know if something doesn’t work for you or if any part of this is confusing so I can make it better! Good luck and happy planning! xo

Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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