[oclug] [HOW_TO] Creating 4-up booklets

Derek T. Murphy (Home) derekm at NightTiger.ca
Wed Nov 3 16:59:00 EST 2004


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Background: I bought a digital camera, the manual for which was only
provided as a 144-page PDF file.

I wanted a paper copy to carry around, but 144 pages...

Printing 2-up per page would reduced the total bulk, but 4-up appealed to
me, as I could STILL read the print... but how to do so? Google didn't
help a lot, but it DID point me in the general direction.

So, I got to use Linux commands I'd never used before. 20 years of
computing, and I learned something new. go figure.

In a vain attempt to increase the Signal-to-Noise ratio of this list, here
is my admittedly simplistic sequence of commands, in BASH script form, in
the hopes it will prove of some use to somebody, somewhere... someday.


#!/bin/bash
#
# mbook - Use pstops and psnup to print an 8-1/2x11 multiple-page file
#	4 pages per side...
#
# What I had:
#	A 144-page PDF, with margins shifted for printing double-sided on letter-size.
#	(The instruction book for my digital camera). The actual page info is only
#	5x8 inches high...
#
# What I wanted:
#	Print each 8.5x11 inch page with 4 images front AND back. (I don't have a
#		duplex printer. Print odd pages, manually rotate and re-insert paper,
#		print even pages.)
#	Fold each page to be 4.25 x 5.5 inchs, slice the "bottoms", and you end up with
#	8 consecutive page images. Pile all 36 up, and staple.
#
# Looking a a piece of paper, there would be 4 pages on it. Folded, the pages printed
# on the bottom half would be upside down, so they need to be rotated. The order of
# the pages in the the original file also needs to be changed
#
#	 Front side	Back side
#
#	||----|----| |----|----||
#	||    |    | |    |    ||	Note that page 8 has page 7 on it's back, etc.
#	|| 8  | 1  | | 2  | 7  ||
#	||    |    | |    |    ||
#	||----|----| |----|----||
#	||    |    | |    |    ||
#	|| 5  | 4  | | 3  | 6  ||
#	||    |    | |    |    ||
#	||----|----| |----|----||
#
#
# [Step one: print the PDF to Postscript was done with xpdf to create
#  dx6490-letter.ps on 8.5 x 11 inch pages.]

# This next command is actually ONE long line. It is displayed here on several strictly
# for readability purposes... It re-orders the pages, and inverts those specified.
pstops 8:7\(0.0in,0.01in\),0\(0.0in,0.01in\),4U\(8.5in,11.0in\),3U\(8.5in,11.0in\),
    1\(0.0in,0.01in\),6\(0.0in,0.01in\),2U\(8.5in,11.0in\),5U\(8.5in,11.0in\)
    dx6490-letter.ps dx6490-book.ps

# This puts the differently-orderd pages 4-up per page
psnup -w8.50in -h11.0in -W8.5in -H12.0in -4 dx6490-book.ps dx6490-book-4a.ps

# This line shifts the pages by 50/72 inchec down, as my printer starts printing too
# high on the page, and when folded the bottom pages aren't aligned right...
pstops  1:0\(0,50\) dx6490-book-4a.ps dx6490-book-4.ps

# I then printed dx6490-book-4.ps odd numbered pages, flipped the used
# paper in the printer and printed the even ones on their back sides.
# Staple and trim, and I have a paper manual I can carry around...
#
# END mbook
#


- -- 
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Derek T. Murphy <DerekM at NightTiger.ca> Night Tiger Inc. Kanata, Ontario, Canada
System Administration/Network Security		GPG/PGP keys: www.NightTiger.ca
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