[Scribus] Windows booklet printing

Alastair M. Robinson blackfive
Sun Nov 5 13:49:15 CET 2006


scribus-request at nashi.altmuehlnet.de wrote:

> I make a difference between imposition and simple booklet printing. Simple booklet priting
 > is where you say "take these pages and try to put them 2-up so when I 
fold I get a booklet".
 > Imposition is where you tell "take these pages and place them like 
this on the sheet".

And one is a subset of the other, of course.

> They will never be able to unless they have the same printer. Margins etc will differ.
 > To make a correct imposition you might need to adjust margins on at 
least one side of the sheet
 > to make things line up. That's why it doesn't make sense to use 
simple booklet printing for a
 > task like that.

I disagree.  Agreed, printer margins vary - but assuming the booklet's 
own margins are larger than those of the printer, then it's not an 
issue.  What *is* an issue is the absurd habit certain printer drivers 
and programs have of *translating* the entire page by the size of the 
top and left margins - but that's another rant entirely! :)

Sure, the printed result isn't likely to be *perfect*, but it's 
certainly likely to be a more meaningful proof than individual pages.

> Take a page from a book and hold it up against a lamp, you will see that text lines on both sides of
 > the paper  align. That's what you want. Not print a booklet on your 
own printer. Do the text lines on
 > both sides of the paper align? Most likely not.

To within 2mm, yes - which for low-end jobs is perfectly adequate.

> And that is a weakness of Scribus? Or could it maybe be that it is a weakness of the printer/printer driver?

It will be perceived as a weakness of Scribus because "competing" 
packages do have this functionality.

I would also argue that it's easier and more efficient for Scribus to 
assemble and print the pages correctly paginated than it is for the 
printer driver to cache the entire print job, then reorder and pair the 

> With the proposed solutions it would be possible to provide a template for simple booklet printing for
 > those who really want it, and by providing the advanced features they 
might learn how and why to use them.

I like the sound of this! :)

 > If simple booklet printing is provided people will use it and never 
learn the advanced parts of doing an imposition.

And why is that a problem?  Why should they learn the advanced parts if 
they have no *need* to do more than print A5 booklets?

I would argue that a *very* common use case for low-end users is to 
produce, for example, a 24-page A5 booklet, and want to have 50 copies 
run off at a copy shop.  Being able to present a ready-paginated A4 PDF 
saves time and money.

> And to save that money, it is to much to ask to learn to use Multivalents impose tool?

Path of least resistance.

For your average mouse jockey using Multivalent means:
* Finding out where in the Start Menu Windows buries that scary-looking 
command prompt program.
* Learning how to relate the directories shown in the Command Prompt 
with the filesystem, and how to navigate to a given directory with "cd"
* Figuring out that by default Windows hides the file extensions, but 
that you need to provide them on the command line.
* Figuring out how to run a Java program from the command line.

and *finally*

* Learning how to use Multivalent's options.

Or you could just use Publisher.  (Boo, hiss.)

The problem is that if Word, OpenOffice or Publisher remain a better fit 
for this task, people will use them (as they *should*, if they're a 
better fit) - but will try and continue to use them when they need to 
work on "proper" print jobs - for which they present nothing but 
nightmares later on, when those of us in pre-press have to try and get 
reliable separations produced from them!

All the best,
Alastair M. Robinson

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