Some guidance for using the book-folding alphabets….

I’ve had comments and emails asking for guidance in using the book folding alphabets here and here. In general, you open the PDF in whatever program you have that lets you open a multi-page PDF, access a single page, then copy and paste a selection into a new file.  You copy the letters for your word, align them, save the file then print it.  DO NOT scale anything.  That’s pretty much it.  HOW you do that totally depends on the program you use.

With any amount of luck, I’ll be moving over to the new Mac totally.  That means I lose Photoshop Elements, at least until I get to open my Christmas gifts LOL! But for the next couple of hours I still have access so I’m going to try to grab some images and assemble a post.  So long as I am able to mail myself the images and collect my mail on the NEW machine it should be do-able.

And it is.

Open the PDF using Photoshop Elements

Pick the page that has the letter or letters you need


Clicking on the page and clicking OK should open it.

Now open a new blank file.  I usually make it A4 (or US Letter) size and 300 dpi, just like the original file.

Using the Select tool (the marching ants) select the letter you want.  Do each one individually. Copy > Paste the letters into the new file


Because the letters are packed fairly closely, to keep the page count and size reasonable, you may be forced to select part of another letter.  Not a problem.  Once you Paste it, be on the layer with that letter, select the extra and delete it.

Once all you grab all the letters on the page you opened, click Open Recent and select the PDF again – this will let you pick a new page to get the rest of the letters you need.  Sorry I seem to have highlighted the same page.  Doh!


When your word is complete, select Align (on my PSE edition it is hiding under the drop down menu you see) and align the letters to create a word.


Save the file as a PDF.


Now you can print your template and fold your book!

I am not familiar with other programs that might work – if you are, do add a comment with the basic info.

And the low tech solution is to print the sheets, cut out the letters, stick them in a line to another sheet, and use THAT as a template.  Not ideal, but it’ll work.  I suppose you could scan that and print the stuck down word for a sturdier template, if you want to make the effort.

Hope that helps.  I can only guess that the huge number of requests I get for templates to be sent has a lot to do with Christmas gift-giving.  As I get busier with my own holiday stuff, this info might just help you make your own template and not depend on my schedule to get started.  With some dedicated focus a few hours is all it takes to fold a book.

I may do a few more full alphabets if there is interest.  Comment to let me know and feel free to drop the name (or a link) to any font. If I have it or can get it for free, I’ll try to oblige.