[Scribus] Printing tabloid landscape to Laserjet 5SiMx - Help!

John R. Culleton john
Sat Mar 11 15:22:09 CET 2006

On Saturday 11 March 2006 00:27, John Jordan wrote:
> On 10 Mar 2006, at 23:29, Louis Desjardins wrote:
> > Did you try the "stupid" trick : print in "portrait" mode... even
> > though you want "landscape". If one doesn't work, maybe the other
> > will. Sometimes strange things happen.
> Good idea, and it almost worked! Except that now I realize that
> printing from Scribus is even more screwed up than I thought.
> This printer has a manual feed tray, two 500-sheet trays (tray 2 and
> tray 3) and a 2000-sheet lower tray (tray 4). Tray 2 can handle only
> letter or A4. The other trays can handle any paper that this printer
> is designed for, including 11x17. Normally I print letter size, and if I
> need to print 11x17 I usually use the manual feed tray. However,
> the printer has various modes, one of which is "Auto." In Auto
> mode the printer will pull paper from the tray with the lowest
> number that has paper in it of the proper size for the print job. This
> can be kind of confusing and I screw up a lot, so I developed the
> habit a long time ago of leaving all trays ajar except the manual
> feed tray, if I am using the manual feed tray.
> So when I first tried to print this job I used the manual feed tray.
> That's when it refused to print landscape. Applying your "stupid
> trick" I tried again in portrait, but by that time I had already removed
> the 11x17 from the manual feed tray and had pushed tray 2 back in
> (which has letter size in it). So when I went to try the "stupid trick"
> I decided just to go ahead and print it on letter size -- so what if it
> prints just part of the page? It would be enough to see if the "stupid
> trick" works.
> And it did! The page came out in landscape.
> So then I put the 11x17 back in the manual feed tray, opened tray
> 2, and resent the print job. Alas, it still printed portrait. So this tells
> me that Scribus has the tray assignments screwed up. It thinks
> tray 1 (manual feed) is portrait and there is nothing that will
> convince it otherwise. For tray 2 it will accept software
> assignments.
> So then I took the 11x17 paper out of the manual feed tray and put
> it in tray 3, leaving all other trays open. I resent the print job,
> hoping that maybe it would print ok to tray 3. But the print job did
> not come out, so I walked over and looked at the display. It was
> flashing that tray 1 was empty. In other words, Scribus lists all the
> trays this printer has, but it sends everything either to the manual
> feed tray or to tray 2. The other tray options do not work. However,
> I discovered that if I hit the Online button while it is flashing that the
> manual feed tray is empty it asks if I want to print on 11x17
> instead. If I tell it to go ahead it will then print from tray 3.
> Nevertheless, it came out portrait.
> I also opened up System > Administration > Printers and tried to
> see if there were any settings in there. The only settings available
> were some that were already in Scribus' print dialog box options.
> I also tried tray 4. Again, it insists that tray 1 (manal feed) is
> empty. And when I tell it to print on 11x17 instead it pulls it from
> tray 4, but the output is still portrait. The only tray it will print
> landscape from is tray 2, and that tray does not take larger sizes.
> Man, this is hopelessly screwed up.
> In the meantime, I exported as PDF and used PDF Viewer instead
> of Adobe Reader. That finally got me landscape, although most of
> the other CUPS options were not available. So the problem is in
> Scribus or in CUPS.
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I have a Ricoh AP2600 printer which has built in postscript 2 and
3. I have to do "shade tree" duplexing by manually refeeding the
paper stack. 

I have cups because that is the new default. For my needs
lprng or even its predecessors would do just fine. 

The trick is to deal in PostScript and not pdf. 

I produce 8.5 x 11 booklets on 11 x 17 paper two different ways. 
Using the Context version of TeX I lay the booklet out internally
within Context. I convert the file to PostScript. I select the
even pages and the odd pages into two files using psselect. (On my
printer one or both should be in reverse order, depending on tray
selection.) Then I print the files odds first, then even. 

The other technique uses plain tex which does not have the
prepress features of Context. Two additional steps are needed. Here
is the script I use. I call it with the name of the file, less
the suffix:

psbook $1.ps $1b.ps
echo 'psnup'
psnup -2 -ptabloid -Pletter $1b.ps $1p.ps
echo 'psselect'
psselect -o   $1p.ps $1o.ps
psselect -e -r  $1p.ps $1e.ps
Then I run a second script multiple times:
lpr $1o.ps
echo 'switch paper'
read x
lpr $1e.ps

If the spooler gets in the way (it hasn't yet) I can feed the
print files directly to the PostScript printer with e.g,
cat foo.ps >/dev/lp0

Scribus at this point lacks the prepress features of 
Context. So conversion to PostScript and processing using
PostScript utilities is the way to go for now. 

For manuals etc.that are in pdf and where booklet imposition is
not a requirement I just use the print facilities of Acrobat
Reader, first the odds, flip the pages, then the evens. Reverse
sequence for both sets.  

John Culleton
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