No matter how well book lovers can adapt to the new technology of electronic documents, most of them will agree that nothing – at least for the moment – can replace the feeling of holding printed paperbacks (and hardbacks) in their hands.
Technology has shifted the reading habit of modern people to use soft copies of documents and books. Yet, among the flood of the PDFs and DOCs and RTFs and other electronic document formats, we often see this sentence written on the virtual pages: “Please print this document for your convenience”. That sentence is the polite way of saying that reading electronic documents is still “inconvenient” for most people.
Environment issues aside, the fact is: people still print their electronic documents. And the most convenient reading format for most people is in the form of a book (instead of sheets of easy-to-be-scattered-around paper). So we are going to discuss the free and easy methods of booklet printing your electronic documents, the Mac way.
(Im)positioning the pages
A booklet is a document which is printed in such a way that when you fold the printed pages in the middle and staple them, the pages will be in correct order as a book would be. This means the pages have to be imposed and sorted before printing and four pages are printed on one sheet of paper.
For example, a document with 8 pages would be printed as:
- Pages 8 and 1 in the first sheet of paper on the first side,
- Pages 2 and 7 in the first sheet of paper on the second side,
- Pages 6 and 3 in the second sheet of paper on the first side, and
- Pages 4 and 5 in the second sheet of paper on the second side.
You can do this manually if you wanted to. First, you rearrange the pages, then you set your printing job to print two pages of the document in one sheet of paper. It’s not a big problem with 8-page document. But with 20 or more pages, the task of rearranging would be a frustrating one. Believe me, I’ve tried it with 36-page document. Not to mention that the whole arrangement would be useless if you edited the document.
Three free booklet creators
Luckily, there are several applications to make the booklet printing process easier.
1. The first one is Create Booklet. This is a PDF service which can be accessed from the Print menu. Click the PDF button and choose Create Booklet from menu.
To split document with a large number of pages, you have to choose the range of the pages to print and repeat the process as many as necessary.
The result booklet will be opened with Preview. You have to choose Print one more time to really print the booklet onto paper.
2. The second is an old booklet printing application called CocoaBooklet. This is a stand alone application which hasn’t been updated since 2006 but still working fine under Leopard. At the time of writing, the developer’s site is not online, but the direct link to download the application is still available.
To use this app, you just right-click any PDF file and choose Open with –> Cocoa Booklet. You can also open any PDF file from the application’s Open menu.
It will ask you where you want to save the file. Open the resulting file to print the booklet onto paper.
To split a long book, open the application and go to the Preferences menu. Choose Options, check “Split the document into several booklets” and decide the number of maximum pages for each sub-booklet. The application will automatically split the file into booklets with the set number of pages. No re-print process necessary like Create Booklet.
3. The last booklet printing tool is BookletCreator, a free online service for creating booklets from PDF . Since this one is online, this service could be utilized by all users under all operating system. You just upload the PDF document, decide how many pages you want per booklet and the size of paper, then click CreateBooklet.
Do you have other alternative of free booklet creator? Share using the comment below.