Flip on a Long Edge vs Flip on a Short Edge

It was my first day at work, and I couldn't wait to enjoy the luxurious facilities there until I lay my hands on the duplex printer. I had not interacted with one before, so I had to print on both edges and pick the best method. 

As in my case, you must have faced this dilemma while using a duplex printer to flip on a long or the short plane. If lucky, you had some assistance from a colleague.

Sounds embarrassing? No need to worry if it is your first time operating a printer, as I got you some information on flipping on both short and long edges. 

The long edge is the horizontal side, while the shorter edge is the flat side of an upright A4 paper. I believe this article will guide you in picking one of the flipping methods.

What Does Flip On Long Edge Mean When Printing?

Flipping on the long plane when printing indicates that your work should print in such a way that you scan the pages side-by-side. An example is best seen in the opening of a file.

To read the document like a book, select the portrait orientation.

What Does Flip On Long Edge Mean When Printing

What Does Flip on Long Edge Look Like?

With an illustration from an A4 page, the long edge represents the vertical side of the paper.

Flipping on the long margin of the paper means you open the printed booklet along the X-axis (on the horizontal line) from the long edge such that it is down the long edge black arrow. Below is an image of how the flip on the long edge looks like

What Does Flip on Long Edge Look Like

As shown above, bind the pages along the vertical edge, and turn them over the top.

What Does Flip on Short Edge Mean When Printing?

When printing, flip on the short edge commands the machine to print in such a manner that you flip the pages over the top. Your work will be published horizontally by the printer. To read it like a book, with the first page on the opposite side to the next page, select landscape orientation.

What Does Flip on Short Edge Look Like?

While still using an A4 page for illustrations, the short edge represents the flat side of the paper.

By flipping on the shorter edge, you open the printed booklet along the Y-axis (on the vertical line) from the short edge such that it is aligning with the short edge red arrow. A perfect example is the standard calendar.

What Does Flip on Short Edge Look Like

Below is an image of the flip on the short edge.

As shown above, the pages are bound along the horizontal edge and flipped over the top.

Flip On Long Edge Vs. Short Edge

Some printing work demands a specific method of printing. The major differentiating factors for the long and short edge flipping are listed below.

Flip On Long Edge Vs. Short Edge
  1. Readability

  2. Binding position

  3. Orientation 

1. Readability

Long edge flipping prints the pages in such a manner that you can read side by side. The document will print and open like a standard double-sided book. A perfect example is a bible.

Flipping on short edge option prints the documents such that you have to flip them over the top for the portrait orientation. The best example is that of a calendar or a hand notebook.

2. Binding position 

The binding position depends on the method of flipping used. Flipping on a short edge binds the pages along the short side of the page, while flipping on the long edge means that the pages are to attach along the long edge of the page.

Binding position

For flip on the long edge, pages are bound on the left for portrait and on the top rim for the landscape, while on short edge flipping, pages are to attach on the left for landscape orientation.

3. Orientation 

Orientation majorly depends on the arrangement of the work on the print paper. Most clients desire to have a particular exposure for their work. The flip on the long edges applies when printing an ordinary book that prints on double sides on portrait orientation.

Flipping on the shorter edge is best for printing documents in landscape orientation. Landscape orientation is majorly applicable in short storybooks.


If your task requires you to print the pages vertically and read them like an up-right book, you should select portrait orientation and flip across the long edge.

If the task requires you to print the pages horizontally and flip the pages like a book, you should select landscape orientation and flip on the short edge.

See, every option has its own preferred conditions. Hence understanding both options is important.

Final Words

Whether you decide to flip on the short edge or the long edge, both flipping methods will give the desired result.

When selecting whether to flip on long or short, I would strongly recommend using the above information as the guideline since printing requirements vary from one task to the other.

With the given information on both methods, it’s easier to decide which option to use when printing your work.

Inksaver Editor

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