Every now and then, I use the "Layout" option in macOS's print dialog to fit two pages on a sheet, for instance when printing presentation slides. For some reason, this sometimes leads to 4 pages being printed per sheet, rendering the slides hardly readable. Happened twice to me today.

enter image description here

Does anyone know why this is happening and how to prevent it?


In response to Tetsujin's comment:

  • I'm running the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.4 (16E195) but I've been experiencing this issue with previous versions of macOS (formerly OS X) as well so I don't think it matters.
  • I print from Preview and Safari and the problem occurs in both cases.
  • I usually print two A5s onto one A4. I'm fairly certain, there's no spilling over.
  • The print dialog shows the correct number of pages.
  • "Is this happening at the app or at the printer?" - Not sure what is meant.
  • 1
    We need a lot more information - what OS; what App; are you checking the data is formatted to fill the page & not spilling over [eg are you trying to print US Letter onto A4 paper]; does the preview show the correct page count; is this happening at the app or at the printer??
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 13, 2017 at 9:28
  • Re: app or printer - maybe try an output as PDF & see if the repagination happens at that stage. (edit) a further point - is that a warning triangle on your printer? Do you know why?
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 13, 2017 at 9:43
  • @Tetsujin That works just fine. I get two pages per sheet as expected which is why I suspect that there might some issue with piping the output to the printer, i.e. some miscommunication between macOS and the printer drivers.
    – Janosh
    Apr 13, 2017 at 9:47
  • I'd be inclined to check the drivers - support.apple.com/HT201465 has a list of supported printers & links to manufacturer's web site
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 13, 2017 at 9:50
  • 1
    That's helpful, thanks. As for MS Word, I was only using that as an example because I'm wondering whether the original application you've used to create the document (whatever it is) is able to print the document correctly in its native format, or whether the problem only occurs when you're printing the PDF version and/or only when printing from Preview or Safari?
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


I have the same problem. The only way I manage to print 2 pages is printing it as a two-page layout PDF (which generates the expected two-pages per sheet layout), and then printing this as a one page per sheet. If I print directly, it will print 4 pages per sheet when I specify 2. This happens for the last 3 Mac OS versions, independent of the printer or program (I just checked with a PDF from Safari).

This happens from Sierra up to Movaje (as of now).

  • 1
    Funny, that’s exactly how I ended up working around the problem.
    – Janosh
    Mar 5, 2019 at 17:33
  • 2
    So, as of March, 2019, there’s no known fix except for the “print-to-pdf-first” workaround. Mar 6, 2019 at 20:09
  • As of 2024 the problem persists, and saving the two-page layout PDF and printing is as a one page sheet is still the best solution.
    – Kolja
    Mar 21 at 19:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .