# Printing/typesetting two A4 pages from a single-page A3 document in TikZ

I'm currently working on a huge graph using a A3 format, with the landscape option. I don't usually work on A3 pages, but this is not a mistake. I purposefully chose this format because it's made of two A4 pages.

When my document is ready, I'd like TikZ to know what I want to do, which basically is to print and/or typeset the document so that two pages come out of it. It should work this way:

The margin would be 0 in every side, so if I put the two pages next to each other, the content would still be readable even if — technically — it's cut in the middle.

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On a second thought, is a minimum code example needed here? I don't have specific problems, it can apply to any code, as long as it's about TikZ (and A3-to-A4 typeset/print questions). – Alenanno May 21 '12 at 14:48
Not many printers would be able to print with zero margins. How would you like to handle that part, relying on hardware or, say, put a folded page in a book? – percusse May 21 '12 at 14:57
@percusse uhm, how much do you think is the maximum I could hope for? 1 cm? That would still be OK, even if not perfect :D I might consider asking further and more specific information to a typography shop I know here about margins. – Alenanno May 21 '12 at 14:58
@percusse In any case, the margin problem would be marginal. Pun intended. :P I mean that once I have the solution, I could still manually adjust the margin if I discover (in a later stage) that it's really impossible. – Alenanno May 21 '12 at 15:01
I can only think of two possibilities. One is leaving the picture as it is in a pdf file and print it on A3 or clip the picture in half by a rectangle and print it seperately. You can also check the options trim left=.... and trim right=... to shift the picture out of the page. – percusse May 21 '12 at 15:11

If you have your A3 document finished, compile it to a PDF and include it into a new A4 document which uses pdfpages to include the A3 page twice with first the right, then the left half clipped away. pdfpages will take care of removing all borders etc.

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{geometry}
\usepackage{pdfpages}

\begin{document}

\includepdf[pages=1,clip,trim=0 0 21cm 0]{example-image-a3-landscape}
\includepdf[pages=1,clip,trim=21cm 0 0 0]{example-image-a3-landscape}

\end{document}


(The example image example-image-a3-landscape.pdf is part of the relative new mwe package.)

This looks the following way in the side-by-side view of Adobe Reader:

As already pointed out you might run intro trouble if your printer can't print to the very edge of the page, which is usually the case with a normal printer!

So you might want to let about 1cm margin on top and bottom and 2cm on the left and right of the A3 paper. Then you can remove 1cm on every side of each A4 page by changing the trim values. You need to disable auto-scaling and page-fitting as well (always a good idea in such cases anyway). I added frame so you can see the real content size easily. You should remove this key for the final version.

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{geometry}
\usepackage{pdfpages}

\begin{document}

\includepdf[pages=1,clip,trim=2cm 1cm 21cm 1cm,frame,noautoscale,fitpaper=false]{example-image-a3-landscape}
\includepdf[pages=1,clip,trim=21cm 1cm 2cm 1cm,frame,noautoscale,fitpaper=false]{example-image-a3-landscape}

\end{document}


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What about typographers? They might have better and more precise printers, no? – Alenanno May 21 '12 at 15:34
@Alenanno: Sorry, I can't tell. AFAIK, professional books are printed on larger pages which are then cropped after printing. Have a look at the crop package. – Martin Scharrer May 21 '12 at 15:35
In the end, printing an A3 page and then manually cutting it is not the end of the world. :D – Alenanno May 21 '12 at 15:39
Like @MartinScharrer said, books a printed on larger sheets which are then cropped, and this is how it is possible to get bleeds on pages (content touching the border of a page). However, beware that this cropping as a precision that comes with it. Also, while I've seen cropping options for outside edges, I haven't yet seen it for binding side of pages. – ℝaphink May 21 '12 at 15:43
@Alenanno: I updated my answer to include a way to print it on a normal printer. You will need to cut of at least one paper when you want to clue them together. – Martin Scharrer May 21 '12 at 15:45

If you are running Linux, you can easily install poster. With this command you can divide a page in several smaller pages. With the following command

\$ poster -v -iA3 -mA4 infile >outfile


the input file infile of size A3 is converted to smaller pages of size A4. You have to convert first the infile to an eps type file.

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