Lay out the thesis correctly for double-sided printing

Does paging the thesis seem like a nightmare? If you want to save time and anxiety here is a simple guide to get a file ready for double-sided printing!

Many universities require it, for other undergraduates it is an extra touch. The double-sided printing seems to make the whole thing more concrete, it makes so much “book” written by you. But how can I lay out my thesis correctly for double-sided printing?

Here are some tips. For convenience we will use examples using Word, but more or less it is always the same functions for all programs (maybe they just have another name!).


It must necessarily be CENTERED to the document or ALTERNATE for even and odd pages. But what does it mean? Take any book, open it anywhere.

If the numbering is alternated, you will see that the odd numbered page will be on the right corner of the page and the even numbered pages on the left side. This is the effect you will have to get! Such as?

If you’re using Word for Mac:

  • Insert> Page numbers….
  • Position> Down (or up, but down is more frequent).
  • Alignment> External

If you are using Word for Windows:

You must first insert the footer (Insert> footer) and select the “Different for odd and even pages” option.

The next step is to enter the numbering:

Positioned on the odd page footer and Insert> Page Numbers> Position> Bottom; Alignment> On the right.

Repeat the process for the even page with Alignment> Left.

General provision

Laying out the thesis for double-sided printing also means taking into account the layout of the various sections of your masterpiece. The index or summary, introduction and each chapter must start on an odd page. That is, they must always start on a front page.

So if the previous chapter or section ends on an odd page (ie a front – in the example, it is the case in Cap I), it will be the case to insert a blank page (back, even page), so that the next chapter start on the front (odd page).

Insert a blank numbered page

Don’t worry, it’s the easiest part of the ancient art of layout. But be careful !!! Do it now that you are on time, using the Word file. The blank pages inserted by PDF will not be numbered (and so you will cry the thesis fairy, which will force you to arrange the file for the 300th time, when you already gave it to print).


Insert> Page Break. / Blank page (depends on the program you are using, but this way you will not disrupt the formatting).


And NO, it’s not good to crush “send” thousand thousand times.


To correctly lay out the thesis that will be printed front-to-back, the title page must:

be followed by a white page NOT numbered;

NOT to be numbered.

The simplest solution is to combine the title page and body of the thesis from files already converted to PDF: in this way there will be no need to put the numbers to hand. But remember to insert the famous blank page after the title page! To do this, just add a blank page to the Word file on the title page and convert it to a PDF file.

If you have Adobe installed on your PC, simply select: Tools> Combine File and choose or drag the files to be merged into the space provided. Remember to save the result!

If you don’t have Adobe, there are plenty of online programs that allow you to do the same thing, such as Smallpdf.

Universities often provide directives to follow, but remember that your advisor will have to approve everything before printing!