I have a single page document, say "A".

I'd like to print it multiple copies with double-sided, like below:

sheet 1 front: A, back: A
sheet 2 front: A, back: A

However, when printing with Preview, even with "double-sided" selected, I got:

sheet 1 front: A, back: empty
sheet 2 front: A, back: empty

Any methods?

  • You should try printing it to a pdf using the settings you want. Then you can check the new pdf to see if it has half the number of pages. if so you should be good to go.
    – Natsfan
    Nov 5, 2019 at 2:49
  • Do you need alignment between front and back prints? Test that before doing a large print run.
    – Criggie
    Nov 5, 2019 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


You can’t print a single-sided document double-sided. There is no second side.

Here’s what you can do.

Use the “Print” function in your app and choose “Save as PDF”.

Print Menu showing Save as PDF

Name the file something like “TwoSided.pdf”

Then open “TwoSided.pdf” in Preview.app.

In Preview.app, choose View » Thumbnails.

The top of the document will say “TwoSided.pdf (1 page)”

Then go back to Finder.app and drag “TwoSided.pdf” from finder to the Thumbnail column on the left hand side. Drop it when you are over the “Thumbnails” sidebar column.

Screenshot of Preview.app and Finder

Now it should say “TwoSided.pdf (page 1 of 2)”. (or “page 2 of 2”… it’s the “of 2” that is important.)

Preview.app screenshot

Go to File » Save

Now go to File » Print and choose “Two-sided”.

  • Thank you! I thought it may need a pdf editor to generate a new pdf with two pages, but didn't know preview can do it directly!
    – Wei Huang
    Nov 5, 2019 at 10:14
  • Is the orange a custom theme, or is this finally built into Aqua now?
    – Cody Gray
    Nov 5, 2019 at 17:19
  • @CodyGray - Go to System Preferences » General. You can change Accent Color and Highlight Color. It was added in Mojave. There are ~8 colors, but orange is nice IMO because it's highly visible
    – TJ Luoma
    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:33

Easiest would probably be to make it a two-page document, then print two copies, double-sided. How you do this would depend on the application you're using.

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