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In the past I had a printer that had the booklet format option that would print the document two pages at a time ordered in a way that folding the whole printout would produce a booklet, half the size of the paper which could be stapled in the middle.

My current printer does not support this feature. I would like to use some utility or script to convert an A4 pdf to an A5 booklet one.

I found this page but I'm getting an error : pdfjam ERROR: can't find pdflatex!

How do I get past this issue? Does anybody know of any other solution?

I'm on Ubuntu 12.10 AMD64

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If pdflatex can't be found, you should install it... sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-base. The Acrobat Reader has a software booklet option, but your printer should support duplex printing for that. – con-f-use Nov 8 '12 at 11:11
I did that and got another dependency issue. pdfjam ERROR: LaTeX package pdfpages.sty is not installed. It doesn't seem to be a very stable package. I'm resorting to another solution. – To Do Nov 8 '12 at 13:58
I installed adobe reader and that solved the problem but it was not so simple on Ubuntu 12.10 64 bit. – To Do Nov 8 '12 at 13:59
Calling apt-file search pdfpages.sty shows that you need to install texlive-latex-recommended, too. – krlmlr Jan 16 '13 at 12:26
@EricCarvalho This is most definately not a duplicate. – AJMansfield Sep 5 '13 at 21:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I found a solution. I installed PDF XChange Viewer for Windows (running through Wine). It has booklet format printing option that works well.

Another option is to install Adobe Reader for Linux. It has booklet format printing as well.


An even better option that I just found out about is a package called bookletimposer.

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Better call it a "workaround"... – krlmlr Jan 16 '13 at 12:26
The bookletimposer does strange things for me. It copies some of the images from one page to the page next to it, over the text. – Steven Roose Dec 4 '14 at 9:09
bookletimposer is in Debian and Ubuntu. apt install bookletimposer -> et voila. – odinho - Velmont Sep 4 '15 at 16:45

It should have nothing to do with your printer as long as the printer has duplex(both sides of a page) printing. It has to do with page ordering.

It is incredible that such a simple function does not exist yet in Ubuntu.

I solved for my 4 pages booklet, putting the number of the pages to be printed in this order: 4,1,2,3. For a 8 pages booklet it would be 8,1,2,7,6,3,4,5. For a 16pages one... 16,1,2,15,14,3,4,13,12,5,6,11,10,5... and so on .... Not practical and immediate but Works.

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The booklet function was a feature of my previous printer's driver. The driver of the printer I have now doesn't have that feature. – To Do Jan 4 '13 at 17:26
Exists, too: psbook or pdfbook do this for you. See this related post: – krlmlr Jan 16 '13 at 12:30
The order specified in the print dialog seems to be ignored on 14.04.3 LTS. The pages are printed in the numeric order, no matter in what order you specify them. Tested with a Samsung CLX-3175N printer. – Peterino Oct 14 '15 at 8:39

(Would post as comment, but I don't have enough "reputation"...)

The best solution I found is at (linked as "this page" in original question).

Installation command given is

sudo apt-get install poppler-utils pdfjam texlive-extra-utils

which should take care of dependencies.

This is an easy step-by-step guide, including a nifty right-click for Nautilus (which is easily done in Thunar as well).

I still wonder why this function isn't included in CUPS or the general print dialogue.

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I had the same question. I like you, ran into those problems while trying to use pdfjam (apart from the extravagant weight of the packages that it needed installed). I asked a question on superuser, and the solution was perfect.

I will recreate it here below, but make sure to upvote the original responder:

to perform an IMPOSITION, nothing is better than Multivalent.jar (latest free version with tools inside, latest Multivalent build currently hosted on sourceforge - 2009 - has no more pdf tools)

you can download the Multivalent.jar build with tools from:!/21OPDHX/v/4 online man -


java -cp tool.pdf.Impose -dim (rowsxcols) -paper (paper sizes where pages will be imposed) file.pdf

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I found this python-gtk script, pdfbooklet that takes a PDF, rearranges the pages to make a booklet, and saves that as a PDF. It has a number of options to automatically generate different types of booklets.

It depends on python-poppler.

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I’ve written a zsh script that prints a A4 PDF as booklet (on A3 Paper):


zmodload zsh/mathfunc

f="$1"; shift

if [[ ! -f "$f" ]]; then
    echo "Not a file: “$f”" >&2
    exit 1

total_pages="$(pdfinfo "$f" | grep '^Pages:' | grep -Po '\d+$')"


sig="$(( int(ceil(pages / 4.) * 4) ))"

pdf="$(mktemp --suffix=.pdf)"

pdfbook --a3paper --signature "$sig" -o "$pdf" "$f" "1-$pages"

#two-sided-long-edge apparently only means *long edge* when in portrait mode
lpr \
    -o media=A3 \
    -o sides=two-sided-long-edge \
    -o landscape=true \

unlink "$pdf"

note that your printer config might be less broken than mine and you actually need to use -o sides=two-sided-short-edge

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I installed Boomaga from Ubuntu 16.04's repository. It solves all the problems, and dependencies from Acrobat Reader (now unsupported in GNU/Linux). It works with any installed printer.

It works very well and opens quickly with perfect render.

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