Monday, January 09, 2017

booklet creation and imposition in linux

in this post, i will go over how to create "signatures" from pdf files in linux so that you can print them out for your bookbinding projects. these booklets are the result of "imposition" - rearranging pages so that when printed and folded together - produces a series of signatures (booklets) that can then be bound together in books. there does not seem to be very good documentation on how to do this in linux, as far as i can tell.

the sizes

here i will only be focusing on booklets of eight printout pages - meaning that the signatures are 32 pages long (two pages on each side of the paper multiplied by eight), but the same reasoning can be applied to signatures of different sizes.

since the minimal signature is four pages long, the length of signatures need to be in multiples of four. i prefer 32 pages signatures generally (eight pages), but others may prefer shorter signatures. if total book you are printing is 247 pages, and you have 32 page signatures, then you will have eight booklets (the last booklets will have blank pages).

the commands

you will need to install: pdfjam

once installed, here are he commands you can use (depending on the type of duplex printer you have, and in particular, whether it prints things "upside down" on the back of the paper [the first command], or "right-side up" [the second command]). this command will produce a file with '-book' suffixed to the document (example: applied to a "document.pdf" file, this command will produce a new file "document-book.pdf" in the same directory):

$ pdfjam --landscape --suffix book --signature 32 -- document.pdf -

$ pdfjam --landscape --suffix book --signature 32 --preamble '\usepackage{everyshi}
          \EveryShipout{\ifodd\c@page\pdfpageattr{/Rotate 180}\fi}
          \makeatother' -- document.pdf -

if anyone knows how to do this with djvu files, i would much appreciate the information!