# “Four-Sided” Documents: Make New Chapters Start Only on Page Numbers That Are 4n+1

There is the option twoside, to make chapters start on odd pages only. This way, when the document is printed two-sided, a new chapter will always start on the right side (odd page).

My question is: Is it possible to define a four-sided document? My reason is that, when I want to print two document pages on one side of the paper sheet, and also double-sided; so there are four different pages on one sheet of paper.

The document is divided into several chapters, and when I update one chapter, I would like to be able to just exchange that chapter's pages in the folder in which I keep the printed chapters (disregarding page numbers). This requires that every chapter starts only at page 5, 9, 13, ..., i.e. 4n+1.

I am using the scrbook documentclass. The following code starts a chapter at page 3, using the twoside option. I would like it to start at page 5.

\documentclass[12pt,abstracton,titlepage,parskip=false, no, no, twoside=true]{scrbook}
\usepackage{blindtext}

\begin{document}
\chapter{first chapter} \blindtext

\chapter{second chapter}
\blindtext
\end{document}

• What are the options abstraction and no (used twice) good for? – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 3 at 17:32
• You could also learn how to use tools like pdftk (or pdfjam which wraps the LaTeX package pdfpages) and do this as post-processing (after the PDF file is generated), instead of trying to do everything from inside LaTeX. – ShreevatsaR Jan 3 at 22:39
• @ShreevatsaR but that wouldn't be any fun. – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 4 at 9:39
• @ShreevatsaR I assume that would also not change the page numbering. – Teepeemm Jan 4 at 13:18
• @Teepeemm Yes correct; I imagine that's what is actually wanted too. – ShreevatsaR Jan 4 at 13:46

The following does what you want by patching the \scr@startchapter macro which is internally used by \chapter to not use \cleardoublepage but to use \clearfourpage, which does what you want.

\documentclass[12pt,abstracton,titlepage,parskip=false, no, no,
twoside=true,open=right]{scrbook}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{etoolbox}

\makeatletter
\patchcmd\scr@startchapter
{\cleardoublepage}{\clearfourpage}{}{\GenericError{}{Patching failed}{}{}}
\newcommand*\newpage@twocolumn@helper
{%
\thispagestyle{empty}%
\hbox{}%
\newpage
\if@twocolumn
\hbox{}%
\newpage
\fi
}
\newcommand*\clearfourpage
{%
\clearpage
\if@twoside
\ifodd\c@page
\else
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\fi
\ifodd\numexpr\c@page/2\relax
\else
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\fi
\fi
}
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\chapter{first chapter}
%\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext
\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext

\chapter{second chapter}
\blindtext
\end{document}


EDIT: The following also resets the page counter to 1 for each chapter and sets the \thepage macro to include the \thechapter counter:

\documentclass[12pt,abstracton,titlepage,parskip=false, no, no,
twoside=true,open=right]{scrbook}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{etoolbox}

\makeatletter
\patchcmd\scr@startchapter
{\cleardoublepage}{\clearfourpage\setcounter{page}{1}}{}{\GenericError{}{Patching failed}{}{}}
\newcommand*\newpage@twocolumn@helper
{%
\thispagestyle{empty}%
\hbox{}%
\newpage
\if@twocolumn
\hbox{}%
\newpage
\fi
}
\newcommand*\clearfourpage
{%
\clearpage
\if@twoside
\ifodd\c@page
\else
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\fi
\ifodd\numexpr\c@page/2\relax
\else
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\newpage@twocolumn@helper
\fi
\fi
}
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\pagenumbering{Roman}
\tableofcontents
\clearfourpage
\renewcommand*\thepage{\thechapter--\arabic{page}}%
\setcounter{page}{1}
\chapter{first chapter}
\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext
%\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext\blindtext

\chapter{second chapter}
\blindtext
\section{first section}
\blindtext
\blindtext
\blindtext
\section{second section}
\blindtext
\blindtext
\end{document}


(note that in this MWE the pages in the ToC are correct)

• @Marie.P. you should only change the page numbering on pages which are right pages in the first place. All of LaTeX's internals decide on even/odd pages and the correct layout based on the page counter. So what you should do after the ToC etc. is \clearfourpage\pagenumbering{arabic} in the first place, that doesn't lie within the scope of this macro (in normal twoside documents you'd do \cleardoublepage\pagenumbering{arabic}). – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 3 at 18:43
• @Marie.P. also in this case it might be a good idea to reset the page counter on every chapter and have a prefix for the chapters, so use something like \clearfourpage\setcounter{page}{1}\renewcommand*\thepage{\thechapter---\arabic{page}} before every chapter (or add this to the chapter code...). This way your ToCs would stay correct for your chapters even if you only replace one chapter. – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 3 at 18:49
• @Marie.P. stupid error. Now corrected in new version of the answer. I'll also remove the edit. – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 3 at 21:59
• @Marie.P. can you please ask a follow up question? You can link back to this question there. Please provide a new MWE there which contains the \renewcommand*\thepage{...} code. Also there is a better way to get the page counter reset at every chapter, you could use \makeatletter\@addtoreset{page}{chapter}\makeatother instead (untested, might cause pages to start at 0 for each chapter). – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 4 at 8:01
• @Marie.P. ok, that \@addtoreset solution will break the start on every (4n+1)-th page. Instead We could add that reset to the \scr@startchapter macro after the \clearfourpage. See my new edit on how I'd do all this. – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz Jan 4 at 10:41