Print multiple pages on a single page (not quite as obviousas it sounds)

  1. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,682
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    I'm looking for a way to reduce wasted space on printed documents. I'd like to slightly condense the size of the text (about 15% in this example) and fit two on a rotated page. Doing this manually would be a lot of work for a 50 or 100 page document. Is there any way to automate this?

    I'm attaching a picture of the rough dimensions of the document I'm working with. As you can see the document doesn't need to be reduced very much to fit two to a page.

    Attached Files:

    • pdf.png
      File size:
      565 bytes
  2. jcsd
  3. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,952
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    It should be in the printer driver settings of any half decent printer.
    Otherwise you can print to PDF and then there are lots of free tools to do n-up printing of PDFs
  4. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    In Word 2007, do Print, Properties, Finishing tab, and change the settings for how many pages to print per sheet.
  5. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,682
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    I was hoping for something that would overlap the whitespace on the page to shrink the pages by 15-20% rather than the 35% I'd get* from laying them side by side.

    * US letter would shrink by 3" / 8.5" = 6/17 ≈ 35%.
  6. You can use Format-->Columns in MS Word or Open Office Writer.
  7. robphy

    robphy 4,230
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    So, it seems that you want to do 2up printing...
    but you don't just want the whole page scaled down (whitespace and all)
    ...but just the relevant text region and maybe some whitespace.

    I just tried the following with a PDF printer like PDFCreator.
    Suppose I have a PDF file with large whitespace borders....
    Using Acrobat reader, print to another PDF (without scaling) to pages whose size is smaller than letter size. (In Windows, choose Print... then Properties (for the selected printer)... then Advanced... then choose a smaller paper size. (You should be able to get a thumbnailed preview of the croppped pages in Reader's print dialog.)) This new PDF will have smaller page sizes with the same size text with lots of whitespace removed.
    Now open this new PDF in Acrobat Reader... print 2up (which will be scaled down) on letter paper. Not quite automatic... but it seems to work.

    Alternatively... here are some other ideas...

    If you can generate the individual pages as images,
    you could write a script (in perl or python or bash) to use imagemagick
    to make images of the desired pages... then print those. (Imagemagick has operations to crop out regions or "trim [boundary colors]".)

    If you can generate postscript, you could try to print to postscript
    (create a printer with a postscript driver [even if you don't have the printer]
    and tell it to print to a file). Then do a crop (e.g. ) on the resulting file.
    Then print 2up (e.g. ).
    This could be automated using

    There's probably a ghostscript solution:

    Hmmm... .. check out (probably some work needed to use this in Windows).
  8. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,682
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    Those are some interesting ideas, robphy. I'll try them tomorrow.

    My home computer is a Linux box and my work computer runs Vista, so either platform is available to me. Obviously solutions that work on both are easiest.
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