Recently, a colleague of mine has done his own book binding. He has used LibreOffice. I am wondering if LaTeX could be used and if it could provide more assistance than LibreOffice.

The problem that I see, if I understand the binding process correctly, is that with 8 folios per stack, the outermost folio in the first stack contains pages number 1, 32 on one side and 2, 31 on the other side, etc.

Now, I am wondering, if LaTeX (or any of available modules) can help with this task? Basically, can LaTeX help with ordering the pages on the folios so that printing them is easy as pie?


This question is not exactly the same as Printing a book question. The other question wants to staple all of the folios of the document together at once. I want to be able to build sections from 8 folios (32 pages) and bind them together by sewing.

  • 4
    you might take a look at this edition of peter wilson;s "glisterings" column in tugboat, which describes the arrangement of up to 16 pages on one sheet for creation of miniature books. – barbara beeton Dec 20 '15 at 19:42
  • 3
    You can use the pdfpages package for that. It can use a nup key. – Bernard Dec 20 '15 at 20:19
  • 3
    @Bernard Not to mention the signature key which is crucial here. The nup key will just put, say, 4 pages per sheet or whatever. The signature key permits automated ordering of the kind the OP wants. – cfr Dec 20 '15 at 22:28
  • @cfr: Oh! I thought the signature was only for the case of 4 pages per sheet. I see I misunderstood. I must say I never used nup, only the signature (trying to make a personal edition of Edward Lear's ‘The story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World’ as beautiful as I could…). – Bernard Dec 20 '15 at 22:45
  • 1
    There was a presentation by Martin Schroeder back in 2001 on a commercial imposition system which uses pdftex: tug.org/TUGboat/tb22-3/tb72schroder.pdf – WillAdams Jan 6 '16 at 14:36

I see at least two different ways for two different ways to bind a book. The first way is to use pdfpages. I used that for "normal" binding with signatures. The other way is to use the geometry-package. This is good for press binding. Here are the specific examples:

Signatures with pdfpages




  • pages=-: use the whole document
  • signature=x: how many pages on one signature (should be a multiple of 4)
  • landscape: print the pdf pages in landscape mode

The result is a pdf file with nice printed signatures. you can then print them in duplex mode and start the binding process.

more information here: https://www.ctan.org/pkg/pdfpages

The geometry-way

(this is also good as a draft for books, see the showcrop option).

I think this is just good for a press binding with glue (personly I don't like that...)

geometry offers an option which sets some space on the left side


\lipsum[1-100] % expand if necessary

With the geometry-package you can also add the showframe option. This shows you the margins of the layout.

more information here: https://www.ctan.org/pkg/geometry


For a good book with real binding you should use the pdfpages way. Not so good is that you need to create a pdf first. For now I didn't find a way to do something similar with geometry. That would be the best because you can directly create the final pdf. Good luck.

  • I have just tested it. Your first solution with pdfpages seems to be what I am looking for. I have tested with signature=16. – wilx Jan 6 '16 at 13:26
  • I think you understood the bookbinding process correctly. For beginners I recommend the very easy coptic stitch. It is also easy to learn. Sadly I didn't find a forum/community that I can recommend... But I think you will get it. – sirjofri Jan 6 '16 at 13:38
  • You can ask about book binding at Graphic Design, it is on-topic there, under the tags typography and print-design. – yo' Jan 11 '16 at 7:33
  • @yo' Oh, I didn't know that. Thanks very much. – sirjofri Jan 11 '16 at 8:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.