How to Make a Perfect Bound Book

How to Make a Perfect Bound Book

Read Time: 3 Minutes


08 Oct 2019

Perfect bound books are suited to an array of different industries and business needs, from educational books to brochures and catalogues!  For any project where you want to guarantee an expensive look and feel from your printing and binding without the high price tag, perfect binding is the ideal option.

At instantprint, we want to make print accessible to all kinds of businesses, no matter your experience, which is why we’ve put together these step-by-step instructions for best practices when designing your own perfect bound books using a range of popular design programs. 


Supplying Your Artwork

As perfect bound books are made in two parts, we require you to supply your artwork a little bit differently than you would for other products. We would like your cover and inner pages in separate files and then we’ll put the book together for you and send you a proof.





Don’t worry about designing a spine in Microsoft Word as this can be pretty tricky. Place a blank order and email your artwork in afterwards to

with your web order number as the subject line and request a spine from the team in the main email body.

If you’re designing in another program, you can make your own spine. We’ve made a spine calculator to help you work out the width the spine needs to be based on the number of pages and stock you’ve selected for your order. 

Inner Pages

For your inner pages, we need these as set up as single pages in one document in the order you’d like the pages to appear. 

For more tips on how to set up your artwork in design programmes, read on.

How to Make a Perfect Bound Book in InDesign

InDesign is a specialist piece of software that’s perfect for experienced graphic designers. These steps show best practice for designing a perfect bound book in InDesign.

Set up your Page Layout and View

  1. Select File > New Document
  2. Choose your size under Document Pre-Set details
  3. Add 6mm to your side Margins and 3mm for the top and bottom – this is your safe zone, so make sure important text and images are kept within the margins
  4. Pick the number of pages you want – we’ll print between 40 and 120 pages, as long as they’re a multiple of four
  5. Tick Facing Pages then create your document

Inserting Pictures

1.    Go to File > Place and pick the high-resolution image you want to add
2.    Resize the image by dragging the corner handles (hold down Shift to keep constraint of the image)
3.    Select the image and drag it to put it in position

Inserting Textboxes

1.    Select Type in the Tools Panel (icon is a Letter T; shortcut key is T)
2.    Click and hold where you want the text to appear and drag diagonally to create textbox
3.    Type your text in the box and choose colours, fonts and sizes
4.    Choose the Select tool to move and resize the box

Pro Tip:

With InDesign you can create a non-rectangular text box too:

  1. Select the Frame tool then click and drag diagonally to create your shape. (Icon is a crossed-out rectangle; shortcut key is F.)
  2. Choose the Type tool and click inside your shape to change it to a text frame
  3. Position your frame using the Select tool 

Creating Borders Around Textboxes

To add a border to a textbox:

  1. Click in the textbox 
  2. Go to the Control Bar and tick the Border box
  3. Hold the Option/Alt Key on your keyboard and click the Paragraph Border option on the control panel
  4. In the Border tab of the box that has opened you can customise your border type, colour, corner size and shape

Top tip: Make sure the ‘Preview’ checkbox is ticked in the dialog box, so you can see the changes you’re making live in your paragraph.

Save Your Artwork

  1. Before you save your artwork, untick the Facing Pages option in File > Document Setup
  2. Go to File > Export
  3. Select Adobe PDF as your file format
  4. This will then trigger the Export PDF Window, where you can set the file up for print.
  5. Save your artwork as a PDF with the settings: PDF/X-1a:2001


How to Make a Perfect Bound Book in Word

Microsoft Word is such a well-known piece of software, making it perfect for beginners! Here’s exactly how to make a perfect bound book design in Word.

Setting up Your Perfect Bound Book

To set your document up to the right size and specifications for perfect bound book printing:

  1. Go to Layout > Page Setup  
  2. Increase all Margins by 6mm to account for the safety area
  3. Go to Size and choose your paper size from the drop-down menu and add another 3mm (0.118 inches) for the bleed area

Top Tip: Set your document up as separate pages and in reading order.

Book Spine 

Don’t worry about designing a spine in Microsoft Word as this can be pretty tricky. Place a blank order and email your artwork in afterwards to

with your web order number as the subject line and request a spine from the team in the main email body.

Inserting Images

Once you’ve set your perfect bound book up, it’s time to add images. Use high resolution images (at least 300dip) to make sure your finished book looks its best. 

  1. Go to Insert > Pictures 
  2. Select the picture you want to include and click Insert or double-click the image
  3. Resize and rotate the image by dragging the corners
  4. To wrap text around an image, right-click the picture, go to Wrap Text and select the option you want

Inserting Textboxes

If you want text to be positioned in specific areas, the easiest way to achieve this is by creating textboxes:

  1. Go to Insert > Text Box and select the style of box you want
  2. Move your textbox by clicking and dragging it into place
  3. Resize your textbox by clicking and dragging corners

Once you’ve got your box where you want it, you can type in it like normal.


Inserting Borders

To add borders to your book:

  1. Go to Design > Page Borders
  2. Select the options you want in Setting, Style, Colour, Width and Art


Save Your Artwork

Save your artwork as normal – this way you can go back and edit it whenever you need. You should also save it as a PDF to embed text and images ready to send to us (this is the file we want for printing). To do this:

  1. Go to File > Save As
  2. Name your file and click the drop-down menu to select file type
  3. Select PDF and press Save


How to Make a Perfect Bound Book in Publisher

Publisher is a design-specific program, meaning it can produce a more polished, professional looking design compared to Word. Here’s how.

Setting up Your Own Book Design

To get a book layout:

  1. Go to Page Design > Page Setup 
  2. Set Paper Width and Paper Height to desired dimensions – include an extra 6mm on both as your ‘bleed’ area
  3. Set Margins of at least 6mm and keep all images and text within them


Inserting Images

Here’s how to insert images on Publisher:

  1. Go to Insert > Pictures
  2. Select the image you want and click Insert
  3. Position your image by clicking and dragging it
  4. Drag the corners to resize the image
  5. Right click the image and select Wrap Text if you want text to be positioned around your picture


Inserting and Placing Textboxes

To use text in Publisher you have to insert a textbox. To do this:

  1. Go to Insert > Draw Textbox 
  2. Use your mouse to draw textbox, shape and reposition it
  3. Go to Format to change the colour and style of the box and your font


Creating Borders

You can use borders to draw attention to text boxes, or your whole book. To add them to textboxes:

  1. Right-click the textbox and select Format Textbox
  2. Choose a Line border for your box
  3. Select Fill to give the box a colour


Inserting Extra Pages

To add pages to your book:

  1. Go to Insert > Page > Insert Blank Page
  2. Set up margins as before 


Saving Your Book

Save your book as normal so you can go back and edit it any time, but then save a version as a PDF ready to send to us. To do this:

  1. Go to Save As
  2. Select PDF from the drop-down menu and press Save


We hope these instructions help you to set up your artwork files for perfect bound books using Word, Publisher and InDesign. If you have any more questions about artwork setup, get in touch with our team of book binding experts at You can also discover our full book range here.


About the Author

Hi, I’m Beth, an Artworker on the instantprint Studio team. I combine my passion for graphic design with my love of print to create useful content to help you achieve perfect print results!