Printing in booklet format

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

Asked By: To Do


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 native to Ubuntu is to install Adobe Reader for Linux. It has booklet format printing as well. Install Acrobat Reader on Ubuntu
booklet menu for acrobat


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

Answered By: To Do

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.

Answered By: humanurine

I had the same question. I like you, ran into those problems while trying to use pdfjam (apart from the large size 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 please credit/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
Answered By: erjoalgo

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.

EDIT oct ’19: As of now I recommend the answer above, – install Boomaga

Answered By: Al F

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.

Answered By: David L

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
    -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

Answered By: flying sheep

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.

sudo apt install boomaga

What boomaga looks like

Answered By: Sergio Sorrenti


pdfjam seems the best option:

pdfjam --landscape --signature 40 /path/to/your/document.pdf

What we want is one or more signatures/booklets (a bunch of sheets folded in half).


pdfbook is one option which was, however, not quite satisfying since it is only able to create one booklet. In order to create multiple booklets its "brother" pdfjam helps us out here:

pdfjam --landscape --signature 40 /path/to/your/document.pdf

Creates a document mirrored along the long edge and creates 40 signatures.

Note: For --signature n: n must be a multiple of 4

There’s also pdfbook2. Unlike pdfjam it shows the --signature option in the manpage. However it seems to be very slow or not working compared to pdfjam

Answered By: holzkohlengrill

Use pdfbook from texlive-extra-utils

  1. Install texlive-extra-utils:
    sudo apt-get install texlive-extra-utils
  2. Then run pdfbook:
    pdfbook [pdf file]

This will output a pdf file that is in the form of a booklet.


Answered By: daka

Qoppa’s free PDF Reader called PDF Studio Viewer has a booklet printing option under the Print dialog and runs on Linux. PS: I am a developer.

Answered By: Leila Holmann

For some cases you may want to use pdfnup instead. It allows you to pack multiple sheets on 1.

Install pdfnup on Ubuntu with:

sudo apt install texlive-extra-utils


Sample usage:

This creates a pdf with 2 pages side-by-side per sheet on a landscape view, to be printed flipped over the short edge. See man pdfnup for a few more details:

pdfnup --nup 2x1 mypdf.pdf

You can do multiple pdfs as a batch like this (this example is taken from the man page: man pdfnup):

pdfnup --nup 2x2 --suffix '2x2' --batch myfile1.pdf myfile2.pdf

The --sufix '2x2' part simply says to add 2x2 as a suffix to the output file name, for easier recognition of which files it just generated.


  1. Super User: one answer to "How to convert a 1 page PDF to a 2 page per sheet PDF?" (and see comments underneath)
  2. Super User: another answer to "How to convert a 1 page PDF to a 2 page per sheet PDF?" (and see comments underneath)
  3. man pdfnup


  1. For anyone wanting to take a 1 or 2 pg pdf and turn it into a pdf with 2 copies of that side-by-side in landscape view (great for printing flyers), see my answer here.
Answered By: Gabriel Staples

I’m currently using Gnome Manual Duplex. It works out of the box for a number of printers and can be used with others with manual configuration.

Answered By: To Do
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