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Readers Respond: How Can I Deal With Creep?

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From the article: Creep
In brief, creep is where the bulk of the paper in a saddle stitched booklet causes the inner pages to extend or creep further out than the outer pages when folded. Sarah writes, "My problem is that if I trim the pages even then the margins are all wrong on some pages. This is for a booklet I'm printing on my printer. I'm folding letter size sheets of paper in half. It's 12 sheets of paper. I have an old graphic design book that talks about it but I don't understand the solution in the book."

What are your tips for dealing with creep whether you are sending out for commercial printing or printing to a desktop printer? Share Your Tips

how can I deal with creep

I use Publisher and I manually "nudge" text blocks, starting at the center pages of the book, toward the spine, then reduce the size of the text block on the inner edge back to my preset page margins. More nudge in the center pages - progressively less nudge toward the outer. No nudging on the last 7 or so sheets.
—Guest mhesselrode

dealing with creep

If you are sending a document to a commercial printer, they will impose it and adjust for creep (e.g.TrueFlow and Preps). If you are printing from an office printer, you can allow for creep in InDesign. Creep becomes a major effect if you have more than 12 sheets or thicker paper. For example, with 100gsm paper and a 14 sheet document (56 pages), creep is about 5mm (0.2 inch). However, if you are using another application to print a booklet, you will need to allow for creep manually. In Acrobat Professional, we allow for creep by cropping the the inner margins of pages so that the inner pages (e.g. 26-29 in a 56-page document) are closer together. The 2 outermost sheets are not cropped at all and the amount of cropping (1.6mm, 1/16 inch) adjusted every 2 sheets. With bleeds, it might look better to adjust the crop amount for every sheet so that, in the case of the 56-page 100 gsm booklet, the crops would be 0, 0.8, 1.6, 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, and 4.8mm.
—Guest Peter VF

Make Tiny Adjustments

I used to have the same problem with a saddle stitched newsletter that had lots of pages. What software are you using? I was using Pagemaker and it had a booklet printing feature that included a bunch of adjustments for creep. I can't say that I understood all the options but it could adjust the pages. I rarely bothered with trimming pages -- instead I tried to keep the pages down to a number where the creep wasn't too terribly obvious. Depending on the thickness of your paper, 12 sheets might not look too bad -- but if you really need it trimmed the solution (to keep margins consistent) is to move everything on the page just a tiny bit inward (toward the gutter) just on the innermost pages (in your case, probably just an 1/8 of an inch or so on the inside 5 or 6 sheets of paper). That way, when you trim the booklet the pages on the inside that end up narrower still have about the same margin as the outer pages. Don't just change the margins. Move the entire page content.
—Guest JJ

Takes a lot of pages for creep to occur

Creep really doesn't come into play in so few pages; it's usually when the number of pages are over about 70 or so. My suggestions would be to fold each page in half, then put them all together & staple, & then trim. You're always going to find some variation in stuff done this way. Part of it may be your printer, too. Paper will tend to stretch a little going through a laser printer - especially as the printer warms up - but it won't be uniform.
—Guest Judy

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How Can I Deal With Creep?

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