Printing a multi-page CD booklet

by levien on wo 11 november 2009 // Posted in misc // under

Creating and printing a multi-page CD booklet can be a bit of a headache. Firstly, not all programs support the re-ordering of pages required to make a foldable double-sided booklet. Moreover, the page-size is non-standard, which may give difficulties with commandline-tools such as Ghostscript and psnup. It took me a while to figure out how to do this on Ubuntu (Jaunty). Here's how you can do it:

  • Create the pages as you normally would, using a program of your choice (e.g. Writer, Scribus). Make sure you set the page-size of the document to 12.1 x 11.99 cm.
  • Export the page to a PDF-file. Don't forget to embed fonts if needed.
  • Make sure you have pdftops (from the package poppler-utils or xpdf-utils), pstops and psbook (from the package psutils) and ps2pdf (from the package gs) installed.
  • Use the commands below to process your PDF-file:
pdftops input.pdf - | psbook | pstops "2:0@1(0,0)+1@1(12.1cm,0)" -w24.2cm -h11.99cm -d | ps2pdf -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=686 -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=340 - cdbooklet.pdf

Then print the resulting PDF-file on a printer capable of duplexing (i.e. double-sided printing, in which case you should set it to fold/bind on the short edge!). Or you can use a single-sided printer, and print even and odd pages on separate sides of the paper.

If your printer only supports duplexing of portrait pages (folding/binding along the long edge of the page), you'll need to ajust the pstops pagespecs to print uneven pages upside-down. I haven't tested this yet, but it should be something like:

pdftops input.pdf - | psbook | pstops "4:0@1(0,0)+1@1(12.1cm,0),4:3U@1(0,0)+2U@1(12.1cm,0)" -w24.2cm -h11.99cm -d | ps2pdf -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=686 -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=340 - cdbooklet.pdf

To create the back-side of a jewel-case, you can use e.g. the Scribus template from this site: