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Author Topic: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages  (Read 6065 times)

donjohnson24

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Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« on: September 11, 2016, 09:29:34 pm »
Just started experimenting with Scribus, as an alternative to using Word to produce my village magazine.

Using Word, I print my 8-page mag on A3 doing pages, 8,1 and 6,3 and then re-insert the printed pages for 2,7 and 4,5 - all of which works fine (as long as I get the paper the right way up and the top where the top should be!)

I'm trying the same sort of thing in Scribus, but setting the single sided page size to A4, with a total of 8 pages,   
I - eventually - created some test pages, and when I print them on A4 paper, in Portrait mode, they look very smart!

However, when I try to print TWO A4 pages on A3 paper - using the settings in the Print function, I get the expected (e.g.) page 8 and page 1 on the A3 sheet, but each 'page' is shrunk - the height of each page image being around 210 mm rather than the expected 297 mm.

I have checked, and in Word, I have the paper size set to A3, and the Page Setup box has Landscape orientation and 2 pages per sheet - all within Word.

With Scribus, I can only set the 2 pages per sheet in the Options for the printer (HP Color Laserjet 5550)

Am I going the wrong way about things, or am I missing a setting somewhere.

I see that I can select a double-sided page - set to A3 ? - but would I then have to fill in the 4 double pages in the order 8,1  -  2,7  - 6,3  - 4,5, and arrange the flow of text appropriately.   It is confusing my old brain!    :o

Help would be appreciated.

Nermander

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 11:29:16 am »
First: Don't use Print from Scribus. Always export to PDF and print that PDF. Print in Scribus is not well developed and most (if not all) settings you find there are from your printer driver or operating system, not Scribus.

Second: What you are looking for is called imposition, or rather booklet-imposition. There are many ways to achieve this, but not in Scribus.

You can oftan use Adobe Reader (or usually any other PDF viewer) to do booklet printing.

There are tools like jpdftk, jpdftweak or Quantum Elephants Bookbinder.

This wiki page lists some tools.
https://wiki.scribus.net/canvas/PDF,_PostScript_and_Imposition_tools

GarryP

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 11:59:14 am »
Welcome to the forum donjohnson24.

A precise answer would require more information about exactly what trying to achieve - and how - but I have some suggestions:

1. If you're creating something that you expect to print yourself onto A3 pages then you could think about using an A3 page as your "base" page size. Designing something on one page size but then trying to switch it round to a different page size for printing can cause problems.

It sounds as though you're trying to create something where you print eight pages of A4-sized content onto two double-sided sheets of A3. If that's true then I'm fairly sure you're not in a unique situation and someone has already figured out what to do (see Nermander's suggestions of impositioning tools).

Some more trawling of the forum and wiki will probably give you something to start from. For instance, in addition to the link supplied by Nermander above, this other wiki page https://wiki.scribus.net/canvas/How_to_make_a_booklet might also be useful. (The "Laidout" software mentioned at the end looks nice but I've not used it myself so that make my previous comment redundant.)

2. Seconding Nermander's suggestion: Don't use the Print function in Scribus; it's been proven not to be reliable. Sometimes it works fine, while other times it makes a real mess of things. Save your ink and paper by not using it. (I've suggested in the past that it be removed permanently until it's been proven to work properly but I can't see that happening any time soon. It's the one function of Scribus that costs actual money to use so it should work properly or be removed until it does.)

As already suggested, it's better to create the PDF first, then print from the PDF via whatever PDF reader software you have (Acrobat Reader is the recommended application but some people can't get it). The PDF becomes your final proof and, if necessary, you can more easily give that to a print shop for professional printing.

I hope some of that helps.

donjohnson24

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 12:45:59 pm »
Well, thank you Nermander and GarryP for your prompt replies.

I had already done some searching, but perhaps not fully understood the results of my queries.

The remarks about Print are quite revealing, so in view of this, and as I was hoping for something EASIER to use rather than Word, - alas - Scribus does not seem to fit the bill, so I'll stick with Word.   At the age of 76, the old saw about teaching old dogs new tricks comes to mind  ::)

In case anyone is interested, the latest issue of my magnum opus is located here: http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk/images/ChedNews092016A4.pdf.

I create A4 Word and pdf versions to send to subscribers who cannot print on A3 paper - which I do mainly because I do NOT have to staple pages together - just tuck the inner inside the outer, where it stays quite happily without any mechanical fixing.

GarryP

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 05:11:39 pm »
I've had a quick look at your newsletter and Scribus would be an ideal tool for producing it. You can get a PDF from Scribus just as you can from Word, it's just the printing step that you need to get sorted.

Once you have the PDF from Scribus then you've got exactly the same thing as you get from Word. All you should need to do is print the PDF from your PDF software rather than Word/Scribus. It's probably just one extra step that should be simple enough. There are probably lots of options in your printer driver that will help you do it. It's possible that you're currently using them from Word and just don't realise it.

Unfortunately I don't have a printer myself at the moment so I can't talk you through the steps (and my driver would probably be different to yours anyway) but I'm sure someone else would be able to assist.

It would be a shame if you missed out on what Scribus can do for you.

CGood

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 06:28:21 pm »
Others have made specific responses to your needs, but I would like to offer a broader thought, that perhaps the plan to jump immediately to Scribus might be an uncomfortably large step if taken all at one time.

Scribus has a rocky initial learning path, and as you see, there are too many odd issues one has to work around. Not ideal, but a reality with a smallish team of developers and finite hours for development. But, Once you get past that first steep slope, the ground flattens out and the path gets much easier. So much so that the last time I had to write a short business note, with no fore-thought, I realized I had written it in Scribus. It has become, for many things, the tool I want to use if I want any control of how my written product will look.

My message here is, give Scribus time so you can get past the foothills. It's rather nice up here on the high ground. Use Scribus for smaller tasks, to learn, for a bit. Then make a paper parallel to your finished Word product a couple of times. I would not be surprised if down the road, you find Scribus easier and more controllable.

donjohnson24

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 07:45:42 pm »

It would be a shame if you missed out on what Scribus can do for you.

In view of your comments, I had another go - realising that as I eventually DO produce an A4 pdf it would not be the extra step to do before printing that I had thought was an unnecessary complication.

I tried exporting as a pdf, with a couple of the Compatability options, but not all the page contents appeared when viewed with Acrobat Reader DC.   However, when I used Print, with Cute pdf Writer, the result was as expected.

Fiddling around with Print in Acrobat, I eventually found that I could use the Multiple option - 2 Pages per sheet, with A3 selected in Page Setup, and could print pages 8,1 and get the desired result.   However, the side margins are around 25 mm and the top/bottom ones are about 20mm, and I did not like that!   :(

Searching on the 'net, I see that this appears to be a known problem, with the - possible - solutions looking more complex than I would want to try.   I did note that the Page Setup windows includes four boxes - all set to 25 mm - but these are greyed out and inaccessible.

So, despite CGood's sensible advice about persevering - as an almost entirely self-taught programmer in BASIC, 6502 machine code, COBOL, unix and Informix over the past 40 years I have persevered quite a lot!   So, I am very tempted to stick with what I know.

BTW, whilst searching for help with bulleted lists, I notice that version 1.5.xx has more options in this regard than the 1.4.6 version I am running.   Should I be using 1.5.2  if I do keep trying?

CGood

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 11:16:01 pm »
There appears to be no barrier to installing newer and older side by side. Do know that files produced in newer versions of Scribus are not usable in older versions - no backwards compatibility. I started with 1.5.1. I'm still pretty new with Scribus, so 1.5.1 set my expectations. I opened up a copy of 1.4.x and did not like it. 1.5.1 is a very meaningful step up from older versions.

While I do not know if the 1.5.x versions address you needs better, there is very little downside to giving them a try. I believe others have noted that 1.5.xxx is not a final version, and may not be the best choice for mission critical work. Since you always have 1.4.x and Word for fallback options, I'm not sure you would be left stranded if 1.5.x did not work.

The one thing I would urge, save regularly with 1.5.1 or later. My 1.5.1 crashes on occasion but recovers saved files just fine.

GarryP

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 12:25:19 pm »
I've noticed that Acrobat Reader DC has a Booklet printing option but the margins can't be changed in Page Setup. I believe these settings come from the printer driver you're using but if you're not comfortable changing these then there's probably not much you can do about it unfortunately.

Someone might be able to take you through it step by step but you would have to say which printer driver and version you're using, and hope that someone out there has that same one installed or are willing to install it just to help out.

Regarding using 1.5.x instead of 1.4.6

The 1.5.x versions of Scribus are Development versions while 1.4.6 is considered Stable. This means that if you get a problem using 1.5.x there will be fewer people who can help. This is because (a) fewer people are using 1.5.x than 1.4.6 and (b) there are so many different versions of 1.5.x.

Since the code in 1.5.x changes on a day-to-day basis the time of day the source code comes from can make the difference between a feature working or not working.

Anyone wanting to try and replicate your problem - to find out what's wrong - would have to:

* Figure out exactly when your version of the software was created;
* Roll back the code to that point in time;
* Compile the code;
* Build the new application somewhere it's not going to interfere with whatever they've already got installed;
* Then try and replicate your problem.

That's a lot of work just to look for something that might already be fixed in a version that's come out since the one you installed. People will generally say "Install the very latest version and try again." which isn't a great deal of help.

1.4.6 doesn't have all of the extra bells and whistles that 1.5.x does but if you want to get better support use the stable version, not a developmental version.

IMPORTANT: CGood has already said it but it needs to be reiterated: Once you have a document in 1.5.x you can't take it back to 1.4.6 if 1.5.x stops working. 1.4.6 WILL NOT open 1.5.x documents. If 1.5.x stops working then your document will be lost until you get 1.5.x working again and the fix may not be a high priority for the developers. And, of course, your software will need to be complied, built and installed all over again.

Nermander

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 03:41:52 pm »
I tried exporting as a pdf, with a couple of the Compatability options, but not all the page contents appeared when viewed with Acrobat Reader DC.   However, when I used Print, with Cute pdf Writer, the result was as expected.
You probably should use PDF1.4 for export, I think that is the oldest PDF version supporting transparencies. Newer PDF version may required you to update your PDF viewer (but on the other hand Acrobat Reader is free).

Quote
Fiddling around with Print in Acrobat, I eventually found that I could use the Multiple option - 2 Pages per sheet, with A3 selected in Page Setup, and could print pages 8,1 and get the desired result.   However, the side margins are around 25 mm and the top/bottom ones are about 20mm, and I did not like that!   :(
I suggest you have a look at Quantum Elephants Bookbinder program.
http://www.quantumelephant.co.uk/bookbinder/bookbinder.html

Is is intended to be used for simple impositions like booklet printing and signatures for perfect binding. It's written in Java so it should be multi platform as long as you have Java.

donjohnson24

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 04:37:36 pm »

I suggest you have a look at Quantum Elephants Bookbinder program.
http://www.quantumelephant.co.uk/bookbinder/bookbinder.html

Is is intended to be used for simple impositions like booklet printing and signatures for perfect binding. It's written in Java so it should be multi platform as long as you have Java.

Ah! Now we're cookin'  :D

Using Bookbinder with Printer at A3 and book size Full Paper Size gives me pdf's that print fine on my HP Color Laserjet 5550 set for A3 portrait and 'Fit', with sensible margins - so thanks for the heads up.   (I did have to look up 'Signatures')

I have now successfully recreated my last newsletter  that was created in Word, in Scribus.    I used version 1.5.2, and although it takes me quite a time to find the right settings for frame margins, borders, etc., I do get there eventually.    A little shock now and then when it crashes as I try something incorrectly - like putting in a column break at the wrong time/place - but I took note of the comment from CGood about saving regularly, so I can cope.  I suppose it takes me back to the earlier days of computing, when programs were not so robust - but at least I don't have to spend 20 minutes reloading everything from a cassette tape.

So, thanks to all who responded to my query, and who did so promptly (almost as good as the responses to queries on the WYSIWYG Web Builder forum, where answers often appear within minutes).
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 06:25:08 pm by donjohnson24 »

donjohnson24

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 11:08:05 am »
Further to my last post, I thought I had found a snag - sometimes my newsletter has only SIX pages.

With Word, I simply printed pages 6,1 backed by 2,5, then half the total of pages 3,4 backed with 3,4 again (NOT 4,3) and chopped the 3,4 pages in half.

Wrestling with how to achieve this using Bookbinder, my solution is to add two blank pages following page 3 before creating the - now - 8 page pdf to feed into Bookbinder.   From Bookbinder's output, I can print side1 page 1  backed by side 2 page 1, and half the total of side1 page 2 backed (again) by side1 page 2 - and chop the latter pages in half.

I am so proud of the fact that I found an answer, that I had to share it here.   But no doubt, from the expertise shown in the previous responses from others, the answer would have been glaringly obvious to most!

GarryP

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 12:16:22 pm »
It's great to see that you're managing to find solutions, and it's even better that you are sharing them with the forum. Working out how to do stuff is way more rewarding than someone just telling you. Give a man a fish vs. Teach a man to fish.

Most solutions to non-trivial issues are not obvious. Sometimes it's difficult just trying to figure out what search term to use to get started.

For example, recently someone on the forum was wondering how to stop the symbols at the end of paragraphs being displayed. Somehow they had switched to displaying control characters and they didn't want them shown. The thing they were talking about was called a "pilcrow" but how on earth do you search for something if you don't know what it's called? It looks like a backwards "P" with another line coming down from it and, in this case, searching for "backwards looking p" in Google tells you what it's called but then how do you know that Scribus classes it as a "control character" in order to search for that? Once you know, you know, but if you can't get a foothold it can be a time-consuming process.

So thanks for sharing. I'm sure people reading this will appreciate it.

P.S. Ah, the joys of loading from a cassette and then getting to the end and realising that the volume had been accidentally knocked too low and having to do it all over again! Happy days indeed.

Nermander

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2016, 11:38:14 am »
(I did have to look up 'Signatures')

For a book, you normally split the content into several smaller "booklets", these are called signatures. So if you have a 32 page document, signature printing might make 4 "booklets" out of it, while booklet printing would make just one large booklet.


As for your 6 page newsletter you would probably have to split your initial PDF into two parts: One with pages 1,2,5,6 (which you booklet print) and one with pages 3,4, which you need to figure out how to print...

I don't think Quantum Elephants bookbinder is the best tool for that, you would probably need to use a more advanced tool like jpdftweak for that. Don't get scared by all the tabs in jdftweak, you will most likely only need to use 3 or 4 of them.

jpdftweak is written in Java too, so it is also multi platform.

http://jpdftweak.sourceforge.net/


donjohnson24

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Re: Print 2 A4 pages on A3 sheet - WITHOUT shrinking pages
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 01:05:05 pm »
As for your 6 page newsletter you would probably have to split your initial PDF into two parts: One with pages 1,2,5,6 (which you booklet print) and one with pages 3,4, which you need to figure out how to print...

Thanks for the info - but my solution works fine.   I need to print pages 3,4 on the same A3 paper as 1,2,5,6, so I either have to chop the sheets in half before printing or after, so no extra effort is involved, and the number of tools I need does not increase.

BTW, having tweaked the page setup margins in Scribus,  using Full Paper Size in Bookbinder, and Actual size when printing from Acrobat, my margins are now smaller than I was able to achieve using Word, so - with help from the Forum - I have achieved and excellent solution to my original problem.    Thanks to all!   :D

 

palmate