PDF Clerk for printing novels
Posted: 16 January 2009 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m a novelist and micropress publisher who prints and binds his own books from home. I switched to the Mac a few months ago and had some trouble finding an imposition solution for printing my books. I tried some other programs, like ClickBook, which I’d used on the PC with great results, but the Mac client had some critical bugs that kept me from being able to use it. I also used Cheap Impostor, which is very nice, but can only print pages two-up, where I needed four-up pages. When I asked about the possibility of adding that feature, the developer was generous enough to point me to PDF Clerk Pro.

The program is powerful, and with power came complexity. I’ll have to admit that it took me a while to create the settings I needed (1-signature, 4-up pages for perfect-binding meant re-numbering the pages—4, 1, 2, 3 on top, 8, 5, 6, 7 on bottom—and removing the default page margins), but now that I’ve done the initial work, I’m back in print. Yay!

I’ve got a book fair next month and was afraid I might be completely stuck—unable to make any books. But PDF Clerk came through for me. I paid for it gladly, and give you my thanks.

Now, how would I number the pages for a tiny perfect-bound book laid out 16-up? The math of that threatens to make my head explode.

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Posted: 16 January 2009 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m not sure what you mean. If you want to add page number to the pages, you can do so by numbering the labels. Relabeling pages is available from the contextual menu on the page list. To make the labels appear on the pages you do so in the Labels tab of the document settings dialog.  If the pages are correctly labeled sequentially, then after imposition PDFClerk should have correctly shuffled the pages onto their slots on the sheets. If this is not what you are after, I need you to be more explicit, to see if I can help you further.

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António Nunes
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Posted: 18 January 2009 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Sorry, I was unclear. I didn’t mean the page numbering, I meant the page *order*. I had to change the page numbers/order in the 4-up layout in order for the pages to print as I needed (single pages to perfect-bind), and I’d like to do something similar with the 16-up imposition layout in order to make small perfect-bound books, but the complexity of it is a bit overwhelming.

At any rate, my point was that PDF Clerk Pro is an incredibly powerful program that’s really helped me out—so thank you!

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Posted: 19 January 2009 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ok, maybe this helps: take a sheet of paper and fold it exactly in the way that the printed sheets of the final product will be folded. Then take pen or pencil and number the sheets in the fold. Next unfold the sheet and you should have the page order to fill in in the template editor.

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António Nunes
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Posted: 19 January 2009 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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An elegantly simple solution—thanks!

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Posted: 26 April 2009 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hamish….

Could you explain to me the settings you used to set up your 4, 1, 2, 3 printing? I want to print things 4,1 on top, 2,3 on the bottom, and just fold them in the middle for binding.
This is my bosses latest thing to throw at me,and Im a little lost in PDF clerk…

Thanks in advance…

-Ice

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Posted: 26 April 2009 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think we’re doing something different. I’m printing across the top and the bottom (I’ve included a screen-grab of my settings). I suspect you may be doing two-up binding, not four-up. I’m not really certain from your description.

It did take me a fair bit of testing to get the right settings for printing my books, I must admit.

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Posted: 30 April 2009 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Having:

4, 1
2, 3

won’t ever fold correctly. Do you mean:

4, 1
3, 2

? Because that _would_ fold correctly. Except, that it would still be one sided printing, so you would have to fold the inside pages together, after folding. If you let us know exactly what your boss wants then we may be able to offer a suggestion.

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António Nunes
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Posted: 19 November 2009 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi there. I’m back after having used PDF Clerk with great success for a while now. There’s just one feature that’s missing, and it occurred to me that this would be the place to wish for it out loud.

When I print out my novels, four-up to a page, then cut the page across the middle (portrait) to make the top and bottom pages, I then have to manually interleave each of the pages—one from the top, one from the bottom, one from the top, one from the bottom. As you can imagine, with a long novel this is really a chore, and introduces a chance to make mistakes (one reader got a book with a page out of order, but was thankfully forgiving).

Is there any way to get PDF Clerk to do this for me? ClickBook did this without even making a point of it… but the Mac version of ClickBook is severely broken in other ways and the sellers of the application have been saying “We’ll talk to the developer” for over a year.

Sorry, off-topic. I guess my point is that it is possible for an application to make this calculation, and I’d be very happy if PDF Clerk Pro could do it.

Thanks again for creating this great application, which makes my work possible!

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Posted: 20 November 2009 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Hamish,

It is not quite clear to me exactly what you are after. Could you provide a graphic with the intended page layout and and indication of the cut. Do you mean that you want the page order such that after the cut you can stack one of the two created stacks on top of the other (or vice versa)?

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Posted: 24 November 2009 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, I think you’ve got the idea. I’ve put together some images that (hopefully) will illustrate what I mean about having to manually sort the pages I’ve printed after I cut them.

I can’t seem to upload the images in the right order here. They should go:
- IMG_0476.jpg
- IMG_0478.jpg
- IMG_0479.jpg

Thanks for looking at this!

[ Edited: 24 November 2009 08:27 PM by Hamish MacDonald ]
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IMG_0478.jpgIMG_0476.jpgIMG_0479.jpg
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Posted: 25 November 2009 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi Hamish,

I can indeed find no better way of doing this. I’ll look into the feasibility of adding functionality that would accomplish this task.

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António Nunes
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Posted: 26 November 2009 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks very much! That would be an incredible help, and presumably something that anyone printing out perfect bound (i.e. non-signature) books would consider a valuable feature.

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