02 June 2015

Free For All Tuesday No. 226


  1. Hi - I have a (possibly annoying, logistical) question about printing A6 diary printouts on A4 paper. Now, there is a really helpful page here about printing A6 printouts by using A5 paper and printing odd then even sides. I have searched online for a solution to this with no joy at all, and I wonder if it is a) impossible or b) Something a crafty filofaxer might have figured out..?!

    What I would like to do is print onto duplex (double sided) A4 paper, that I can then cut in two and fold to make the A6 booklet. So: no waste, as with the A5 method, but using A4 paper. I don't have access to a printer that happily accommodates A5, but I can certainly print double sided and A4. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to achieve this? I'm working with Word or Adobe Reader at present, but would not be averse to investigating other (free/opensource!) software if that would help.

    Thanks so much!
    - Jen

    1. Most printers if not all of the printers I've come across can only duplex with A4 paper, they can't duplex sizes smaller than that. So that's why I do mine single sided and then flip them over manually.

      A6 is a quarter of A4, so if you cut it in half and half again you have 4 sheets of A6 from one sheet of A4.

      What printer are you using?

      Arranging the dairy insert files to print four pages per side and also getting the correct pages on the reverse side would be quite difficult to do with our current arrangement.

    2. I'm a student at the moment, and I do all of my printing from the university library's massive printer/photocopiers, which are, I think, canon "imagerunners" - which usually have oodles of functionality, but they remove a lot of functionality so that tinkering students (like me) don't break them - basically, I have to use the paper in the printer, which is bog standard white A4.

      Do you think I would have to manually rearrange the pages or something like that? It just *seems* like something a computer *could* calculate and do, you know?! I have a terrible brain for numbers and I wasn't sure if I just didn't get it, or if it was quite a complicated procedure. I had feared that if it was something that was quite straightforward, you would have suggested it on your A6 printing page.

    3. I have been fiddling with that issue just recently and decided it to do the complicated way around:
      a) print all the necessary pages with the A5 template straight (no duplex printing at this point) into a pdf. Make an extra pdf for odd-numberd pages and one for the even-numberd pages
      b) now open both pdf and print two pages A5 on A4 of the first pdf on the front, two pages on the second page .. and so on, until you've got everything printed - again make a pdf.
      c) print that pdf onto A4 paper, with duplex options along the long side.
      Cut and enjoy

      But: I haven't managed to find the reason why the pages were printed out slightly smaller than the original setup: I lost about 2 mm in page size on all sides. All pdf were done with 100% settings. So I still had some paper waste but if you don't mind the cutting markings you could do without waste.


    4. Ahhh, I just checked: I did it a little bit different, which might be easier:
      a) print all the pages you want printed in A5 size into a pdf
      b) print a second pdf with only uneven pages, but two pages on one page (A4) (this would be portrait) - file 1
      c) print the third pdf with only even pages - file 2
      d) now do the mixing: always print one page of file 1, then file 2, then file 1, then file 2 etc... but choosing this time the dupley option.

      Sorry for the confusion.. I think, the first version above was my first trial, but I just had found the files I'd worked with in the end :-)

    5. Oh WOW! That is very very impressive brain work there - thanks so much for sharing it! I'm going to give it a go and see how I get on. Thanks both of you for sharing your solutions :)