Booklet Printing on Linux

What with the excitement going on around #Dungeon23 online, I’ve been referencing various source materials more, such as Filling in the Blanks, the Tome of Adventure Design, and the Hex Flower Cookbook, among many others. Some of these, I want on-hand as a physical product while I’m working; so, I figured to print some out and make little booklets of them to have on-hand. Surprisingly, however, printing in booklet form appears to be a little tricky in Linux!

Now, LibreOffice has a way to print brochures, as they call it, but that involves using LibreOffice Draw to edit a PDF file and not all of my PDFs can be opened with Draw. I’ve found a solution using Adobe Reader but Reader is discontinued on Linux. Reddit offers several solutions, including manually setting the print order, using Boomaga as an intermediate step, and so on. All in all, a little trickier than I figured it would have to be to just print something in booklet form!

In the end, I figured I could just make something myself. Using the advice on manual ordering from Reddit, I ended up making a quick Python script that reorders a PDf file and sends it to the printer with the right settings immediately. It was nice to see I still have enough knowledge to quickly bash together a script to do what I need without much issue. I added a few command-line argument options and made sure that I could expand the script if I ever run into missing options.

For now, it’s time to bind the copy of Filling in the Blanks!

2 thoughts on “Booklet Printing on Linux”

  1. Ah yes, LibreOffice Writer has options for it, and I’ve used that a few times to create a single booklet, or do multiple sets of pages to create signatures.
    For PDFs I, like you, created a simple script (PHP in my case) that also calculated signature sizes so you could choose an optimum number of sheets in a signature.

    1. I was just finding out about signatures as well, since I made a few booklets now that are nice but there’s also a book or two I wanted to print that clearly couldn’t work in the same way. In fact, even the Filling in the Blanks booklet I made is already a little too large actually.

      I assume from your comment that there is an optimal number for sheets in a signature? How do you determine that?

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