Ability to print reader page spreads (Facing Pages) like Quark or InDesign

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Re:Scribus 1.5.4 on Windows 7 and/or Ubuntu Linux 18.04

I have used Quark XPress for 20 years and InDesign for half that time and both feature the ability to print "facing" pages" or "reader spreads" either on a larger size paper or PDF file (for example, a spread (facing pages) of two 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches on a single 11x17-inch sheet? I am not talking about--nor do I need--printer spreads or imposition. The ability to print "Facing Pages" is in the Print Dialog boxes for both Quark and Adobe programs--no need to go anywhere else or another piece of software or custom programming.

All I want to do is print facing pages as you see them side-by-side on the screen when a document is set up that way in the page map. Same would apply to a dinner/music program whose individual six pages are each 66 picas tall by 34 picas wide. When set up as facing pages (in three-up) they form a 66-pica tall by 102-pica page (i.e., 11x17 inches). So, six of these pages equal a front and back of a large  11x17-inch program folded into three panels.

Being able to print "reader spreads" or "Facing Pages" is invaluable for lining up pages side by side and fine tuning them. Maybe I'm missing something obvious.


when I did my 40 page phone book I just laid it out in Printer spread and the darn printer printed in reader spread screwing it up, I thought reader spread was single pages, either way, won't it just print how you laid it out?


pdf created with scribus can be printed as facing pages.
that's one of the most common use cases and it's not a problem at all...

are you sure that you are not asking about displaying the facing pages on screen?


p.s.: of course, we do not recommend to print directly from scribus, but to first create a pdf, and then print the pdf with a pdf reader... or hand over the pdf to a print shop for professional printing.


Thanks for responding so quickly.

I tried Scribus on a generic (text only) document (Scribus 1.5.4 Test.sla) that I created with 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages, and was indeed able to save out as PDF with facing pages (see Scribus 1.5.4 Test.pdf). However, they are still 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages, which with Adobe Reader, I can print them out two up either shrunk on 8/12 x11 or same size on Ledger (11x17).

But that is not what I'm after. I would like to be able to print (Facing Pages) onto an 11x17 inch document, which is a Print Dialog setting when printing in InDesign or an EXPORT (Save as PDF with Facing Pages selected) in Adobe InDesign. Whether you use the Print Dialog in InDesign or the Export-Save-as-PDF in InDesign, you still get a 11x17 (ledger) document showing facing pages (See InDesignTest.pdf). When Exporting in InDesign, it is simply a click on "Facing Pages" as it is in Scribus--except InDesign can yield 11x17 pages and Scribus still yields 8 1/2 x 11 single pages, which have to be printed as "multiples" in the Adobe Reader Print dialog box--not the same. The InDesign PDF truly lets me see how a spread looks when printed. Incidentally, Quark XPress works the same way as InDesign--going all the way back to Quark Xpress Version 4--as I can remember.

See comparison PDFs and Scribus document. Please note: This is text from an already published article of mine, which is copyrighted by the magazine for which I write. It's just text that I copied and pasted for the lack of anything else.

BTW: Except for this issue, from what I've tried so far with Scribus (including images, expert typography, etc.), Scribus is definitely in the big leagues! You can tell that it has its beginnings rooted in publishing from the ground up as opposed to some of the other "consumer" programs that are available. My days with page layout go back to ATEX on DEC PDP 11 equipment, paste-up and film--and then we finally moved to Quark XPress 3.X--and our company at the time went with an in-house Linotronic film setter.

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what you want to achieve is called "imposition".

scribus does not do any imposition.

on linux there is a command line tool called pdfbook that can transform the pdf into a booklet.

there are other free software tools -- even gui ones -- that can help you do the imposition, but they are not always very easy to use for a beginner.

finally, last time i've tried, adobe reader did offer you the option of printing a booklet.

personally, i normally create the scribus document at the size i want it to be printed (A5, A6).
When printing it my own printer, i use a scribus script that produces a pdf with the "right" page order and, then, pdfnup to create an imposed PDF with double sided A4 pages.
for the final print, i normally send the the PDFs at the original size.

so, in your case, i guess you should simply look harder at the adobe reader preferences, when you print the Pdf created by scribus.


I don't think of the ability to print facing pages as shown on the screen as page imposition. I think of imposition as the ability to take the pages I've created and put them into the order needed for printing book signatures. This is neither anything I need nor want to do--and it should be transparent to me. If I'm creating a 400-page book, Create Space will take care of the imposition. Why would I need to do imposition unless I'm actually a printer assembling the 400-page book I created?  (I'm familiar with page imposition software as I've used it in the past for newsletter creation where I print it.)

Another reason to use this method is creating an 11x17 inch program, where I have the ability to print 11x17 with crop marks, but my client only has 8 1/2x11-inch printing--and rather than squint at an 11x17 document  printed on 8 1/2x11, she'd rather print out all six pages at letter size. Doing this as a six-page document with facing pages allows me to print both ways for two different purposes--when using InDesign or Quark.

So, as I said before, all I want to do is create proof pages (facing pages) of all left-right page-pairs in a book of 400 pages. This is a simple Printer Dialog Check box or Export-Save-Pages-PDF in InDesign; the box is "Print Facing Pages." It's also been in Quark XPress for at least 20 years. So, for example, I  can print two 5x7 inch pages side by side on 8 1/2 x 11 paper for every two pages in the book. This is NOT imposition in InDesign or Quark.

If I'm editing and doing the page layout of a 400-page book (which I have done and will do another), I simply don't have the time to write PostScript, scripts or other coding--or use another software program merely to accomplish accurately printing facing pages. This should be as simple as clicking a single button, which accomplishes printing spreads as shown in the InDesign PDF example I previously attached.

Might this be a good addition to Scribus? I've been trying to move over to using Linux instead of Windows, and I was hoping Scribus might be the tool that gets me there. As I said, Scribus measures up in every way--except for this inconvenience.  :)


i can print two (or more) pages per sheet out of 'acrobat reader' – but i'm not sure if this feature belongs to the reader or to the printer driver.
if this doesn't work for you, check jpdftweak or another .pdf manipulating tool...



i have made a quick internet search for "adobe reader booklet printing" and this is what i got:


i'm trying to guess what is behind your sentences, and i fear that this is not what you're looking for.
probably, what you need is simply the multiple printing that adobe provide:


this is a feature that almost every printer driver will provide you.

you can also try out the jpdftweak or any other imposition tool... but they are a bit overkill, if you simply want to print a preview of your book.

really, almost every printer driver can scale your document and print multiple pages on one sheet, adobe reader (the most common pdf reader) can do it, too.
why should scribus spend programmers time on something that is so easy to reach?


Ok this is archaic I know, but I was searching for this issue and thought I could bump the post.

I also am familiar with the export option that Indesign has (print as spread) and I was looking for it with scribus.

I looked up jpdf tweaks and it requires oracle's java......
The scribus wiki printing page points to pstops (cli)

But a checkbox in scribus pdf export would bi so much easier, than export as single pages and make the imposition with another program.

For my work, I am producing a book cover, following a clever technique where three pages are put alongside in a spread, back cover, spine and front cover. This is so that the spine width can be easily adjusted and of crs cos it looks good in a spread. Then during export just need to check (spread) and the resulting file is a combined 3 pages that can go straight to the book printers and not fail their validation.


I've spent some hours fiddling with psnup and I can't make an output on one page. Something wrong with my command, or I should input ps not pdf? Will try some more. Pdf Tweak didn't run, java issue.
psnup -c -q -h37.74cm -h25cm -3 cover.pdf cover1.pdf
However, a work around in Scribus, I calculated my book cover total width (fr+bk+spine) and made a new one page doc of exact dimensions, then selected all objects from my original three page spread and pasted onto new doc -fits exactly.

But I have to say, a 3-page spread is much better to work with as it then gives margins for front/back near spine and also boundary of the spine. Adjusting spine width is also a doddle, and the front page just shifts to the left or right.