Tips and Tricks

Design a Two Page Image Spread

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a custom two page spread for the opening of your chapters of your Print book. 

Before we get started, you will need to design images to fit the trim size of your book. It’s important to note that this spread only applies to print versions of your book, as eBooks don’t show two pages side by side. For more details on how to properly size your images for the best results, check out our related post, Image Sizing for Print and EBooks.

Create a Custom Theme for Right Page of Spread

Once you have your images ready to go, we’ll start by customizing a theme.

  1. Click Formatting from the top center
  2. Select your theme of choice
  3. Click the Edit Theme button

In the first menu section available, under Visible Chapter Details you’ll need to make sure Image is checked.

Screenshot of Atticus theme customization settings, turning Image on for Visible Chapter Details
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Once that’s done, you can scroll down the page to set your image preferences.

The Background Image Layout will allow you to place an image behind the text of your header and first page of your chapter. 

If you would like the same two page spread to appear throughout your book with each chapter, upload the image you have designed for the right side of the page here. 

Remember, you’ll want this image to be light enough that the text of your chapter is still easy to read. You an also choose to upload a dark image, and convert the text on the first page of each chapter to Light.

Make sure you click on the Full Bleed option so that your image extends to the very edges of your page and doesn’t stop abruptly along the margins. 

Screenshot of the theme settings for a Background image with full bleed and Light text
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Individual Chapter Images

If you’d like to use a different two page spread for each chapter, you can choose to Use Individual Chapter Images. This will remove the option to upload your image in the Theme settings, but you will still need to select Background Image, whether you want your text to be default dark or light, and if you want it to be Full Bleed.

Screenshot of Atticus theme settings with Use Individual Chapter Images toggled ON
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Once the rest of your theme is set, save your theme.

Open each individual chapter and, underneath the Chapter Title, you’ll see a link to allow you to upload your image for that chapter. Repeat for each chapter of your book.

If some of your images are designed for the default dark text and other images require light text, you can click the gear icon below the title of the chapter and choose Invert Text Color at the bottom of the list options.

Screenshot of a chapter open in Atticus so you can see where to upload Individual Chapter Images and how to Invert Text Color as needed
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

NOTE: If you have your theme set to Light text and happen to have some pages that you do not include background images, you can click this gear icon on those pages to Invert Text Color as well.

Insert Full Page Images for Left Page of Spread

Once you’ve set up the rest of your custom theme and saved it, you can start inserting the image or images that will appear on the left side of your page. 

Atticus is designed so that the first page of your body content will always appear on the right side of your page. This means that to insert an image to the left of the first page in your body content, you’ll have to upload it to the Front Matter. 

Do this by using the Add a Chapter button to insert a Full Page Image and then dragging it into place as the last item in your Front Matter.

Change the title as you would like to see it in the navigation panel, and then click the plus sign to import your prepared image. Again, make sure you have clicked the Full Bleed option. 

You may also choose to click the gear icon below the title of the page and choose Hide from Table of Contents, if you don’t want the image to have it’s own line in your TOC.

Once inserted, click the three dots beside the title of your image in the navigation panel and ensure that this image will load on the left side of the page. Click Begin On > Left-side.

Screenshot of a Full Page Image in Atticus with the navigation menu options open to set the page to Begin on > Left side
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Create a Two Page Image Spread for Each Chapter

You will need to repeat the above steps to add a full page image in front of each chapter throughout your book in which you want to show a 2 page spread.

First, insert a full page image between each chapter and set it to full bleed. Make sure you set it to Begin on > Left-side each time. 

If you’re using the same spread, you won’t have to adjust each individual chapter. However, if you’d like a new image for each chapter header, you can repeat the process of adding a new image to the header of each chapter.

For added peace of mind, you can also set each chapter to Begin on > Right side, but it is very important that all your full page images Begin on > Left side or the images won’t create a spread.

Once you’re finished, you can Export to PDF and it will be ready for print!

Last Updated: 10/26/2023

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