I am printing a booklet of "beginners in reading" text for my daughter to read with this workflow:

a) Typeset the pages as A4 as per the above link, this results in a PDF file with 55 A4 pages (Vorlage.pdf).
b) I call the following scripts/tools from the commandline to yield a PDF which, printed on my printer, has signatures of 2 A4 pages each.

$ pdf2ps Vorlage.pdf
$ psbook -s8 Vorlage.ps Vorlage-s6.ps
$ psnup -pa4 -2 Vorlage-s6.ps Vorlage-s6-pnup.ps
$ ps2pdf Vorlage-s6-pnup.ps

-> I get a PDF file Vorlage-s6-pnup.ps.pdf to be printed on my laser printer "doublesided, bind short side" (my rough translation from german) so I can collate two A4 pages, fold, repeat.

Now, as pdfjam and friends seem to be commandline frontends of tools available in LaTeX: Is there a way to directly tell LaTeX to yield the desired ps2pdf Vorlage-s6-pnup.pdf signatur'ed, 2-up'ed, collated PDF?

Also, offsetting seems to be relevant for larger signatures, if someone could explain how to implement the things @Esteis has said in the above article I would be grateful (in the sense of 'If you overdo things, overdo them correctly' so at least I learn something new in typesetting ;).

  • This doesn't directly answer your question, but Adobe Reader can print PDFs as booklets.
    – ChrisS
    Oct 1, 2014 at 11:06
  • Yes, I know - but I'd much rather have a non-proprietary workflow (plus, I need this to be scriptable on/from the commandline).
    – Christian
    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:35
  • If you do not object to 2 files, you can use solution 2, but note that solution 1 is not currently working, to the best of my knowledge. I'm not sure this will 'outperform' the commandline or in what sense you want it to do so. (Is the issue whether it is faster? Produces better looking results? Smaller files?)
    – cfr
    Oct 2, 2014 at 0:51
  • How to implement offsetting depends on how you are laying out pages - never mind the issue of signatures. So without an MWE, it is anybody's guess. (You should try to make your question self-contained in the sense that links provide additional information but that all of the essentials are here. That makes it easier for people to answer. It also makes it easier for them to tell quickly - at a glance - if they might be able to answer.)
    – cfr
    Oct 2, 2014 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


Have a look at pdfbook on CTAN: it's a PDF alternative for psbook that uses the pdfpages LaTeX package under the hood. (I'm one of its authors, and current maintainer.)

Edit: note that this pdfbook program is different from the one included in the pdfjam package of scripts.

  • That's funny - I've been on that page but mistakenly assumed it had something to do with the pdfbook commandline toll I unsuccessfully used today (it stubbornly ignores my --signature setting). I'm reading your page as we speak. Thanks!
    – Christian
    Oct 1, 2014 at 13:31

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