Adobe InDesign/Double-sided name tags


QUESTION: I've used Indesign's Data Merge to create nametags based off an Excel document. My employer wants the names to be double-sided, but using duplex printing would mean the names would always be from left to right on each side of the paper (meaning they would have two names on one name tag).

Any idea on how to print the same names on both sides of the paper in the same position?

ANSWER: Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your question.

Would you be able to provide some images of the issue so I can better understand your question?

Are you just using a list and its printing out with a name say, Mr Bob on one side of the tag and then instead of Mr Bob again its using the next name on the list?
How big are the tags, (business card size?) and does your process involve folding or anything like that. Are the names both printing the correct way up or is one side upside down?

Have you checked your printer manual to see if the solution can be found there? Are your printer's drivers up to date and the 2-sided option checked in the print > printer options?

Have you tried exporting your Indesign file to a PDF and then printing from the PDF?

Sorry that I couldn't help, hopefully with more information we can try and find a solution.

Thanks H Louise

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Name Tags
Name Tags  
QUESTION: I'm attaching an image to explain what I mean.

If you look at the image, the name "Don Abbe" for instance will always print in the top left, even if I use duplex/double-sided printing. Of course you can do mirror printing, but that literally just prints things backwards.

I'm not sure how to keep the name "Don Abbe" on the front and back in the same position. If I did it manually, that means I would have to flip the objects position on one side in order the print the same names on both sides.

Hopefully I explained myself somewhat better!


Yes I see what you mean - so at the moment Don Abbe gets Glenda Abbe on the reverse side instead of Don Abbe again - or has Don Abbe but in mirror form?

Without knowing how your printer works and feeds paper and the different ways it can print pages etc I may not be able to find the most ideal solution. I think it would be worth contacting your printer manufacturer and see if they have a driver capable to do the job you want it to do or know the best way to achieve it. It could be a simple solution already available on the printer - always worth checking.

However, if failing that I think I have a solution using Indesign.

You said that when you tried mirror printing, it literally just mirrors the tag - making the text etc backwards/reflected - but are the names in the correct place on both sides? Would it be practical to have a front and back page of the name tags in indesign, so page 1 would be like the page you've attached. Then page 2 would be the reverse side - but be a mirrored version, so that when you tell your printer to mirror page 2 it will then make it print with the text read in the correct way on the reverse side of your paper sheet.

A quick way to create the reverse side of your tags could be to group all the name tags, position on page 2 of the indesign document and then use flip horizontal - and just check that it has mirrored everything correctly - the way it printed it out in your test. So when it prints it prints the opposite and appears the correct way. Another way to do this would be to export to pdf your page 1 and then place the pdf image on your document and then flip horizontal - a little less fiddly than loose elements that might move etc.

If that makes sense?

I'll continue to have a play and see if I can come up with something else as well.

Any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

H Louise.

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H Louise


I am an artworker in the newspaper industry working with both newspaper and glossy products. I can answer most questions on the Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Professional), however please note that I am not as experienced in the use of Illustrator. I also have experience in QuarkXpress, Property software and Photography.


I have been working in the newspaper industry since 2007. I started in QuarkXpress before moving over to the Indesign software.

I have qualifications in art and design as well as a degree in media.

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