Yesterday I encountered a problem with printing an A6 pdf document (which I created using LaTeX). The Printing shop did not have A6 sheets, so they took the print out on an A4, which turned out different than what I expected it to – it was magnified in the print.

I have few questions to ask, please help me out:

  1. Is it possible to put A6 page with border, so I could get printout of any sized paper, and then cut it using the border?

  2. Can I put multiple (x,y) on (a,b) paper? Here paper size is mention with this convention (width, height) and (a,b) bigger than (x,y). As show in the image below. Ex: 6 orange-size sheets on one green-size sheet, with border for cutting the paper into A6 after the printing?

  3. Is it possible to arrange smaller sheets in any order on a bigger sheet? Like consecutive sheets row wise or column wise? Below I have mentioned the page numbers and arrangement.

(1, 2, 3)      (1, 4, 7)
(4, 5, 6)  or  (2, 5, 8)
(7, 8, 9)      (3, 6, 9)

2 Answers 2


The pdfpages package provides exactly this functionality.

Assume that you have a document that has been created in LaTeX on A6-sized paper (the example below creates a 29-page document, mya6doc.pdf say):

\usepackage[a6paper]{geometry}% http://ctan.org/pkg/geometry
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\chapter{First chapter} \lipsum[1-10]
\chapter{Second chapter} \lipsum[11-20]
\chapter{Third chapter} \lipsum[21-30]
\chapter{Final chapter} \lipsum[31-40]

Now create another document mya4doc using the following:

\usepackage[a4paper]{geometry}% http://ctan.org/pkg/geometry
\usepackage{pdfpages}% http://ctan.org/pkg/pdfpages

pdfpages options allow for the inclusion of all pages (pages=-) in a 2x2 nup format (nup=2x2) with a border1 around each page (frame). Also, pages are left unscaled (noautoscale).

pdfpages insert by-row pages (2x2 A6 onto A4)

The default is to print pages using a row-first ordering. The can be modified to print using a column-first ordering3 by adding the option column:

pdfpages insert by-column pages (2x2 A6 onto A4)

Note that in the above example, nup=2x2 was used since A6 is 1/4 of A4. Therefore, the inserted pages remain exactly A6 and snugly fit side-by-side on A4. However, it is also possible to put 6 A6 pages on a A4 sheet, since pdfpages automatically scales the input pages to fit on the output pages (or any number2 for that matter). The inserted pages will be reduced in size accordingly. For example, modifying the above to

\includepdf[pages=-,nup=2x3,frame,delta=2cm 0]{mya6doc}%

produces a 3x2 layout with a horizontal gap of 2cm between the inserted pages (and zero vertical gap):

pdfpages insert by-row pages (3x2 reduced A6 onto A4)

The package documentation provides the rest of the options.

1 Satisfies your first request.

2 Satisfies your second request.

3 Satisfies your third request.

  • pdfpages is also used by pdfnup, which creates that temporary tex file for you. On the other hand, using pdfpages you have more flexibility and can use all options of the pdfpages package... Drawback is that you have to create the second tex file manually. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 15:22
  1. Paper border and printing one size on a larger-sized paper: You can use the crop package.

  2. and 3. are probably best done with psnup or pdfnup.

All those software packages are open source and usually installed on any Linux system. On Windows or Mac you can probably download a proper version, too.

If pdfnup does not fit your wishes, pdftk is another open source PDF package that can be very helpful: http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/

  • You don't have to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post.
    – N.N.
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 12:40
  • @Reinhold, the two software you mentioned are proprietary software, free version allows for 10 sheets. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 12:46
  • @Kirk, all software packages that I mentioned are open source and usually installed on any Linux system. On Windows or Mac you can probably also download a proper version. I have updated the answer to include the download links. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 13:07
  • BTW, pdfnup uses the pdfpages latex package recommended by Werner, so that you don't have to create that second text file manually. It's basically a "front-end" (cmd line) to pdfpages. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 15:04

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