Bookbinder's Collator opens PDF documents and arranges the pages so that, once printed, the sheets of paper can be folded, gathered into groups called 'signatures', and bound into a book or booklet. Without this app, the pages would be out of order after assembling the book. You can layout and design the book with sequential pages in your preferred page-layout application, then use Bookbinder's Collator to order them appropriately before printing.

You can select from 3 folding formats. Folio makes 2 pages on each side of each sheet using a single fold. Quarto makes 4 pages on each side of each sheet using two folds (requires cutting the top edge of the signatures to free the pages). Octavo makes 8 pages on each side of each sheet using three folds (requires cutting the top and bottom edges of the signatures to free the pages).

You can select between 1 and 10 sheets of paper per signature with the Folio format (due to the extra folds, quarto is limited to 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 sheets of paper per signature, and octavo is limited to 4 or 8 sheets). This allows you to find the right balance between the strength of the signatures to hold the sewing or stapling, and the ability of the book to open easily with the pages laying flat. Use fewer pages per signature for thicker paper, and more pages per signature for thinner paper.

Includes animations that demonstrate how to gather and fold the pages appropriately for the settings you have chosen.

Ideally, you would design your PDF pages at the size they will be in the book (i.e. for 8.5" x 11" paper in the folio format, the source PDF should be 8.5" x 5.5"). That ensures that all of the text is legible. However, this not always possible, especially if someone else made the PDF. To help, we now support automatically scaling the pages down to fit if you choose paper that is too small. Since this could produce text that is too small to be easily read, it should only be used as a last resort.

For best results, print your document two-sided, with the short-edge binding setting.

What’s New

Version 1.2

You can now control whether or not the pages are scaled to fit the selected paper size.

Ideally, you would design your PDF to be the exact size needed. For example, to print a folio on US Letter (8.5" x 11"), the PDF pages would be designed at 8.5" x 5.5". In this case, you can leave scaling off to avoid reduced legibility and distortion of the margins.

However, if you didn't design the PDF, it may be too big to fit. In this case, you can opt to scale the pages down to fit within the printable area of the paper. The downside being that the print may be smaller and harder to read.

Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Erasmus444 ,

A little tricky to use

This program works well, but the user interface is a bit tricky to figure out, because the various controls are scattered about. There’s a toolbar at the top that contains eight controls, and they SHOULD be adequate for setting up your document properly, but there’s another set of controls hidden in the print dialogue box under the “Show Details” button that might be appropriate to consult — and they appear to overlap the buttons in the toolbar. For example, the “Pages per sheet” popup menu does the same thing that the “Folio” popup menu does — except that “Pages per sheet gives you the options { 1, 2, 4, 9, 16 } while the “Folio” popup menu gives you the options {folio, quarto, octavo}. These are not the same thing, but they overlap in a confusing manner.
Some of the confusion arises from the intrinsic geometric trickiness of the task that this program tackles, so I don’t want to appear to be too hard on the designer. I think that the program could probably be designed to clearly show how the geometry works, and present the user interface in an intuitive fashion, but that would be a great deal of effort for a product that few people are willing to pay for. Hence five stars.

Book Printer ,

Exceptional Program! Exceptional Support!

This guy is great, he really steps up and takes care of his customers. (I wish he was in charge of technical help for most of the large software companies…)
Bookbinder’s Collator arranges the pages of your document so you can print the pages, gather them in “signatures” of 8 or so pages per signature, fold each signature down the center, poke holes every inch or so at the fold, sew together the pages in each signature, then sew the signatures together, and then glue the signatures into a hard cover. Also known as Smyth binding. This is THE BEST way to create books that lay flat when they are open, and unlike all other binding methods, the pages will never fall out of a properly Smyth-bound book. Programs that do this cost anywhere between $5 (this program), to more than $3,000. So, considering that I only paid $5, when I couldn’t figure out how to use the program, I wasn’t expecting any technical support. Boy was I surprised. The program’s creator quickly responded to my email, he quickly figured out what I was doing wrong, and he showed me how to fix it. Now I am easily getting exactly the results I need. One thing to remember: make sure your original document’s pages are the size of the pages that you want in your book. So, let’s say you’re using 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper, and after you print on the paper you’re going to fold it along the 11 inch side, which will give your book “pages” that are 5.5 inch by 8.5 inch. On each 8.5 inch by 11 inch piece of paper, you will have four printed “pages.” So, make sure that when you create your original document, that the document’s pages are 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch.

KireP ,

Handy to print 2 Up documents

This software is meant to print books, by printing the folded page in the right order.
I found it also useful to print a a PDF file that was an unusual size (4 x 9 inches) in a 2 up format, to use it to create a pamphlet.

Worked great for this.


David Garsha
4.9 MB

OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2015 David Garsha


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