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I need to create 2 versions of a University dissertation. The main version has to be done on letter-sized paper with very strict specifications for most of the style elements. But I would also like to create a (for want of a better term) paperback version. What I'd like to do is to scale each page by 0.65 and print 2 pages side by side on one side of a letter-sized sheet (in landscape mode, of course. I realize that there will be extra vertical space.).

I've been reading about output routines, including this question, and so am happy to hear that output routines are as dark for others as they are to me.

I would appreciate any ideas that anyone has on how to accomplish this. Please note that I don't want to create two versions of the document by, say, creating two distinct class files with different fonts, scaled graphics, etc. I'm hoping that someone will tell me that there are pdf tools or output routines that can easily accomplish this with an option or two.


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Have you taken a look at /usr/bin/pdfnup? – kahen Mar 2 '11 at 4:11
@kahen - No, I hadn't known about that application. Thanks for pointing it out. Looks like it could work for me. FYI - pdfnup isn't in my linux distribution (slackware), but it came with my texlive distribution, so it's in /usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/i386-linux/ – bev Mar 2 '11 at 5:00
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can do this sort of thing quite easily with the pdfpages package. It works on the pdf file itself not your source file. You would make a small document like the following to create a 2-up version of your thesis.

\includepdf[pages=1-,nup=2x1]{<your thesis.pdf>}

The package has many quite sophisticated options for layout, but this should be enough to get you started.

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Thanks Alan. This looks perfect (also - pdfnup is an interface for pdfpages so your answer is basically the same as kahen's). I'm going to go with yours so I can create an option in the latex class file that will print one or the other. – bev Mar 2 '11 at 5:04
@Bev I'm not sure what you have in mind for the class file: if the class file is the class for your thesis itself, you can't use pdfpages within the source document. You could, of course create a class file that would generate (from a 1-up pdf) either a 1-up or 2-up version, but that doesn't seem worth the effort. – Alan Munn Mar 2 '11 at 5:11
@Alan - yeah, I played around with it last night and realized that you have to create a new latex file and input the thesis as you indicate above. I was hoping that I could create a 'mini' option for the class, but no go. But I'm not complaining. I have the simple way of creating the paperback, so I'm happy. – bev Mar 2 '11 at 18:18
I do have one complaint about pdfpages tho. I was wondering why, since there is a 'landscape' option and a 'angle' option you used the 'landscape' option of the article class. But, weirdly, I couldn't duplicate your example using just the pdfpages options! I was getting all sorts of configurations, none of which seems to me to be useful at all. Oh well. – bev Mar 2 '11 at 18:21
@Bev To duplicate my example using the pdfpages options you would remove the landscape option from the \documentclass command and instead use \includepdf[pages=1-,nup=1x2,landscape]{intro-book} (notice the changed n-up parameter.) The angle parameter affects the placement of the logical pages, not the physical page. Try adding angle=45 for an instructive example :-). – Alan Munn Mar 2 '11 at 19:12

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