Creating a Two-Page Spread in Bookify

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One of the questions we hear most often around Blurb is how to create a two-page spread: extending a single photo across two facing pages for a bold, panoramic look. Although not an officially supported feature, this effect is quite easy to achieve in Blurb Bookify™, Blurb’s online bookmaking tool.

Note: You can use similar techniques to create a two-page spread in Blurb BookSmart®. See our FAQ.

1. Start a Book
First, of course, you’ll need to launch Bookify, start a new book and import your photos. If you need help with this, check out our previous post, “Hit the Ground Running with Bookify.”

2. Set up a spread
Use the navigation bar at the top of the screen to find the pages you want to edit, or click on the “View All Pages” button at the bottom and choose the spread you want to work on. Either way, you should now see two blank, facing pages.

bookify spread 1 Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

Now we have to choose the right layout for each page. In a two-page spread, your photo will go straight across the gutter: that’s the area between the two pages, where they curve back to meet the binding. So we need to choose layouts where the photo container goes all the way to the inside edge of the page — right up the gutter.

bookify layout buttons Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

Let’s start with the left page:

Locate the three layout buttons directly beneath that page and click the middle one (the one with the divided square) to see all the available layouts. In each layout, the gray area shows where your photo will go. So choose a layout where the gray area goes all the way to the inside edge of the page (in this case, that’s on the right).

bookify spread 2 Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

Now, do the same thing for the right page, again choosing a layout where the gray area goes all the way to the inside edge (this time, that’s on the left). Basically what you are doing is creating a two-page layout that will allow your image to appear on both sides of the gutter.

When you look at the spread again, you should see the gray photo areas meet at the center.

3. Add your photo
Now, find the photo you want to use in the photo stream at the bottom of the screen. Click on the photo, drag it up to the left-hand page and release. Your photo will be centered automatically, so you may need to drag it over a bit so that only the left half of the photo is visible.

bookify spread 3 Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

Now, drag the same photo onto the right-hand page…

bookify spread 4 Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

…and move it around so that only the right half of the photo is visible. Use your eye to line up the two photos so they match up in the middle. Be patient: getting them lined up precisely can be tricky. You may also need to make your image bigger to fill up the space. To do that, click on the photo and then use the Zoom slider that pops up to resize the image. Make sure you zoom each side by the same amount. If you get a warning, that means you’ve zoomed in too far – zoom back out until the warning disappears.

bookify spread 5 Creating a Two Page Spread in Bookify

Voila! One photo now takes up two pages.

Important!
Remember that your photo is going right through the gutter: the area where the two pages curve back to meet the binding. Anything in that area is going to be harder to see than the rest of the photo, so avoid putting anything important (like someone’s face) in or near that area.

Bookify shows the gutter as a dark-shaded line down the middle of the spread. This is a guide only; the actual depth of the gutter depends on the thickness of your book: the more pages you have, the deeper the gutter. Just remember to keep all the important bits well clear of that area and you’ll be fine.

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20 Comments

  1. How would you do a two page family photo of 50 people?

    By Lisa Evans
      January 13, 2011 – 1:44 am   Permalink
  2. I have been doing this on my previous books, “Glorious Venice” and my recent book “Wide Open, plastic panoramas” I worked out that on some especially if the gutter is deeper its worth adjusting the overlapped part of the image and checking in preview helps. The other thing to watch for and I need to take this up with blurb is the fact that if you do not have full bleed you may have alignment issues with your borders so do check down to the pixel! I did but some of my pages have vertical drift with binding, this may of course not be the case on every book.

      January 13, 2011 – 2:38 am   Permalink
  3. Why don’t blurb update their software to allow users to spread a photo across two pages rather then have to follow the above steps – its ridiculous! The Jessop software allows a 2 page spread and its much easier & quicker to do it then using the above method. I like to use 2 page spreads a lot and i’d actually rather use the Jessop website even though its more expensive because it saves to so much time. Blurb – wake up!!!

    By Dominic Miller
      January 13, 2011 – 3:17 am   Permalink
  4. Do I take it that the same technique should be employed with Booksmart? Best, Fiona

    By Fiona Crick
      January 13, 2011 – 3:34 am   Permalink
  5. Any advice as to how to do a two page spread using InDesign? I have downloaded the Blub InDesign templates and have placed a photo across two facing pages from bleed line on the right to bleed line on the left and both bleed lines top and bottom. Hoping that this works.

    By Bill Reid
      January 13, 2011 – 4:12 am   Permalink
  6. Your how-to tips are invaluable! Thank you. Working on my third book – should be ready to go to print next week.
    Isabella Appleby

    By Isabella Appleby
      January 13, 2011 – 4:45 am   Permalink
  7. Can you do this page on Bookify and some how get it in your Booksmart? I have already started my book (actually almost done, YAY!!!) but I am loving this two page spread thingy!!!

      January 13, 2011 – 8:03 am   Permalink
  8. Sounds like even I can do it ! Easy instructions I can’t wait to find a great photo to do this.

    By patti
      January 13, 2011 – 8:14 am   Permalink
  9. WOW!
    This is fantastic tip as i have been working on my project and wanted to use two page technique for one photo.
    THANK YOU!
    Jaffer Bhimji

    By Jaffer Bhimji
      January 13, 2011 – 8:39 am   Permalink
  10. I have created a number of books using Booksmart and Blurb. I have also recently asked about the two-page spread.

    The problem is not how to cut the photo in two. This can be done in many ways, either the way you propose above, or using photoshop, or else.

    The information we need to know is: how much space we should allow at each side of the photo where they meet. Where the two pages curve to meet the binding.
    If we leave more, or less than we should, then we will have a problem.

    Furthermore, for us professionals, but I believe for amateurs as well, the two-page spread is very important to present certain photos.

    I realize that this problem has been reported to you, since a long time ago by many, so I believe, it is time to deal with it immediately and find a solution.

    Thank you

    George

      January 13, 2011 – 10:38 am   Permalink
  11. Great creative technique and easy instructions!

    By Carol Smith
      January 13, 2011 – 11:59 am   Permalink
  12. how to do this with indesign and pdf?
    thanx

      January 13, 2011 – 12:49 pm   Permalink
  13. Cheers! Basic logic required then! I love your site, your books are beautiful, high quality printing and your excellent service greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. :)

      January 13, 2011 – 8:28 pm   Permalink
  14. I have a question; is it possible to import books made in Booksmart into bookify?

    Kinds regards Koen

    By Koen
      January 14, 2011 – 4:57 am   Permalink
  15. Hi Koen,
    We’re very excited about new developments for 2011, but it’s not currently possible to start a book in BookSmart and then import it into Bookify. It’s a great question, and thanks for asking.
    Lauren

      January 20, 2011 – 10:31 am   Permalink
  16. HI Dominic,
    We hear you – and we’re glad to say we’re working on it. Stay tuned for exciting news about a solution very soon.
    Thanks,
    Lauren

      February 4, 2011 – 8:29 am   Permalink
  17. As Bill and Herbert asked, is there anything we should keep in mind when doing two-page spreads in InDesign (PDF to Book)?

    Also, does any of the image actually get “lost” into the gutter or is it just harder to see?

    By Jed L.
      July 7, 2011 – 10:44 am   Permalink
  18. Hi Jed,
    Take a look at this FAQ for good information on two-page spreads. In a nutshell, the success of two-page spreads depends on the images chosen. Some make better candidates than others. Please look at the FAQ and if you have any more questions, please contact our Customer Support team and they can help you out.

    Good luck with your two-page spreads. Personally, I love using them in books. They add so much and really up the “wow” factor.
    best,
    Eileen H.

      July 7, 2011 – 4:42 pm   Permalink
  19. I personally prefer the ease of Bookify over Booksmart and this tutorial just made it so much better. With a little playing around and logic like someone said above, my presentation looks so much better than I imagined!

      January 27, 2013 – 12:39 pm   Permalink
  20. Thanks, Corky! We think Bookify is pretty cool too, but it often gets overshadowed by its bigger sibbling.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      January 28, 2013 – 9:09 pm   Permalink

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