Printing Instructions

How to get Speakbook printed - or how to make it yourself.

Speakbook is copyright, but you are welcome to make copies for personal use free of charge. Reproduction or distribution of speakbook for any professional or commercial reason is not allowed without prior written permission – this includes use in or by hospitals, or by any healthcare professionals. This doesn’t mean we won’t let you, just that we’d like to talk to you about it first, make you sign a commercial use licence and possibly, depending on the circumstances, charge you a small fee to help support our work. Contact enquiries@acecentre.org.uk and tell us what you have in mind.

A4 or pocket sized?

All Speakbook PDF’s are sizable. This means that although it is nominally an A4 document, you can print it on any size paper. Do you plan to use Speakbook a lot? Or is it just for emergencies? If it’s the latter then you may decide to print a smaller one for the convenience of carrying it around. The difference in use with smaller Speakbooks is that you and your partner will have to sit closer together, and you and your partner will need to be able to comfortably read text that is that much closer to your eyes. We have tested Speakbook at A5 size, as well as ‘letter’, the standard American paper size - and they both work fine with our test subject’s eyesight. Before printing a pocket sized Speakbook however, we recommend that you print the training page (pages 24 and 25 of the PDF) on a pocket sized piece of paper, cut out the hole, and test it with your partner before making the complete book.

Professional printing

If you want to get a copy of speakbook printed at a professional printing shop then use the following text to get quotes. Bear in mind that not all printing places do wire binding, so it may be worth finding places that do, before you send out your quote enquiries. (Wire binding is important, because it is the only binding method that allows the book to open right back on itself.)

Dear Sir/Madam

Please could you quote me for printing a copy of the attached PDF. This is is an A4 document. It should be printed on both sides - page 1 of the PDF is the outside of the front cover, page 2 is the inside of that cover etc. It needs to be printed on stiff card with a shiny, laminated type surface (users of the book will need to be able to write on it with a wipe-off whiteboard pen). It should then be wirebound down the left hand edge, so that it can open 360 degrees. I will trim out the tabs and the holes in the middle of the pages.

Once you get your copy back you will have to cut out the holes in the pages, and the tabs yourself using scissors and/or a craft knife.

Making Speakbook yourself

You’ve got lots of options here, depending on how much technology you have access to.


If you have a printer then print it onto card (paper will do, especially if you are planning to laminate it, but card will mean stiffer pages, which will make the book easier to use.) Print the book double sided, page 1 of the PDF is the outside of the front cover, page 2 is the inside of that cover etc. Most home printers will do this, it is called duplex or double sided printing. The printer prints one side of each sheet and then you put the pile of sheets back in, and it prints the other side. Look in your printers help files if you get stuck. If you can’t manage this, don’t worry – just print it on separate sheets and glue them back to back. If you don’t have a printer, then Speakbook can easily be copied out by hand.


Laminating Speakbook means that you can easily alter the words and phrases that you write on it - as your needs change. You can write on the laminated surface with a non permanent whiteboard pen and wipe it off with a damp cloth. On areas of heavy wear like the tabs, you might prefer to use a permanent pen. After laminating you will need to cut out the holes. If you don’t have access to a laminating machine, then just write your phrases in pencil, to enable them to be rubbed out.

Cutting out the holes

Cut out the holes in the pages, and the tabs using scissors and/or a craft knife.


The ideal binding for Speakbook is wire binding. Wire binding is good because it keeps the pages together neatly and the holes exactly lined up. It allows the book to open right back on itself, which is important. However, you are unlikely to have wire binding facilities at home so we will have to explore other options. Probably the best home binding method is to punch holes down the left hand edge of the book and hold it together with string or treasury tags. Small metal keyrings are even better (available from key cutting shops). Punch holes near the corners of the book as well as in the middle of the edge to keep it all straight.

If you have any questions about making your Speakbook then email me enquiries@acecentre.org.uk