I use following .tex file very much for printing books, booklets, etc



I wanted ideas on making a front-end for this repeatedly used file. Like having file add options, parameter setup (for pdfpages, ex : pages={3-45}, or nup=3x1 or frame=true or signature=8, etc) etc; and then have a button to execute the commands at the back-end and get the PDF preview as the final step

My questions:

  1. Is it possible to make something like this?
  2. If it is possible to do it, how -- as in, are there predefined ways?
  3. Are there tools already doing something like this?
  • So you'd like to have a GUI program to create those specific TeX files? Shouldn't be more than a few lines in any popular programming language. Which OS?
    – Caramdir
    Sep 18, 2011 at 18:28
  • 1
    What do you mean by a front-end? This could easily done with a cgi-form and run on a local web server. On OS X you could quickly create an Applescript to do this too. There may be similar abilities in other OSes.
    – Alan Munn
    Sep 18, 2011 at 18:30
  • Front-end as in with GUI Sep 18, 2011 at 19:16
  • Kirk, you might want to accept one of the given answers or provide more details on what you are looking for (e.g., which OS you are using).
    – Daniel
    Oct 12, 2011 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


This is exactly what the pdfjam command line tool suite does. From the README:

PDFjam is a small collection of shell scripts which provide a simple interface to much of the functionality of the excellent pdfpages package (by Andreas Matthias) for pdfLaTeX. These scripts take one or more PDF files (and/or JPG/PNG graphics files) as input, and produce one or more PDF files as output. They are useful for joining files together, selecting pages, reducing several source pages onto one output page, etc., etc.

For instance, your example would be:

pdfnup xyz.pdf --nup 1x2 --pages 4-8 --landscape true --frame true

You basically have access to every pdfpages option.

For MacOS pdfjam also provides a simple GUI interface, based on some AppleScripts and "Droplets"; I am pretty sure that GUI frontends for other systems can be found as well.


The pdfjam tool/bundle does this already. It includes a couple of shell scripts like pdfnup as front-end for the nup option of the pdfpages packages. However, there are no graphical interfaces with buttons I know of.

I wrote a small script for this myself when I needed it a few years back. I was planning to make a full tool out of it but the programmer(s) of pdfjam did it then first.

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