Bundles - Printing bundles double sided in a civil case

Printing double-sided saves paper and makes bundles lighter to carry, and some courts/tribunals (such as the County Court and High Court for Trial Bundles and the Supreme Court for the final Appeal Bundle) require it (though it should be noted that a few courts/tribunals, such as the Court of Appeal, actually require single-sided printing).

If you have a PDF to print which contains pages with differing paper sizes, such as A4 and A3, you need to have a printer with two paper trays, one for each size of paper. If you have only one paper tray then you will be continually having to change the paper from A4 to A3 and back again throughout the printing operation. Of course if there is only one A3 page and the rest are A4 that is not much of a problem but if there are a number of A3 pages interspersed with A4 pages it could get quite laborious.

You may be thinking that if you have a single paper tray you could save having to change the paper size too often by printing all the A4 pages first then printing all the A3 pages and then sorting them into sequence, but that is not as easy as you might think when you are printing double-sided. For example if you have a 40 page PDF with pages like this

pages 1 to 3 - A4 
pages  4 - A3
pages 5 to 21 - A4
page 22 to 25 - A3
pages 26 to 40 - A4

then when you print the whole PDF double-sided the printing system will print the first two pages on either side of an A4 sheet, then print the third page on one side of the second sheet of A4 paper (leaving the reverse side blank) and then print the fourth page on an A3 sheet, then print the 5th and 6th pages on either side of an A4 sheet, etc.

If, however you print all the A4 pages double-sided in one go, that is pages 1-3, 5-21, 26-40, you would end up with, for example, pages 3 and 5 on either side of an A4 sheet and then be unable to insert the A3 page 4 in between. To avoid problems such as this you would have to print each A4 range separately - i.e.  first print pages 1 to 3, then print pages 5 to 21, then print pages 26 to 40, which would be quite laborious in itself.

So if you want to be able to print PDFs containing A3 and A4 pages double-sided on your own printer, make sure that, when buying a printer, you choose one which is not only able to print A3 and A4 but also has at least two paper trays. 

An alternative, of course, is to use a reprographics shop for bulk printing and only use your own printer for low volume printing.


This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else. 

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in April 2019. Disclaimer