I've been busy recently, having taken on the voluntary working task of doing the Hull Unitarian Magazine, and learning just how constraining is A5 as a format. It is half the size of A4, retaining the width to height square root of 2 dimensions. Text has to be readable, but the problem with a big screen and A5 is the text turns out to be tiny. I've been using games software (crossword maker, maze), image software (for layers of image and text), Desk Top Publishing (to fit texts in shapes and flow the text through different shapes and pages), text processing (for throwing text around, forcing line endings), and Word Processing (for columns, emphases).
Each of these are saved to A5 .PDFs. Some are single pages, some double pages. I've been working on the principle of odd pages have superiority and the double paged spread. I'm at 20 pages, and no filler like jokes. The result evolving in page order can be viewed but I should say as I wait for the article of the Chair of the congregation, I am making parts easier to read. This includes the picture on page 2, the inside front cover. That's on its side, to turn the booklet to view the picture. I may use instead a Unitarian poster picture of Stonehenge in which one adds poster text - I may add feature article text, if it fits. There are ways and means. It is already at the correct dimensions for a .PDF (if at A4). I could convert it and text to an image and have text relaid over the top a second time for clarity if needed and involve a fade out of the image under the text.
All these .PDFs at A5 each get merged into one document of 20 pages.
The printer business receives the .PDF in page order and makes the A5 booklet up. So it runs in multiples of 4, and they do the donkey work. Otherwise, for 20 pages, the arrangement would have to be:
Outer: 20, 01; 18, 03; 16, 05; 14, 07; 12, 09. Inner: 02, 19; 04,17; 06, 15; 08, 13; 10, 11.
So 10 and 11 are the centre-pages. The commercial printer business used insists on A5 with a 10mm margin all round so it is not possible to have 10 and 11 as a landscape A4. I haven't asked, however. I'm sure it is possible, but likely to be out of automatic arrangements.
If you want an early read, and a read before it is finished, it is here:
but it will change. The finished version will go on the Hull Unitarian website.
Well, what about some home testing with printing out? One would not believe how difficult this is. Apparently Adobe Reader does have a facility for a booklet print, where A5 doubles up to landscape A4 on a print out, but many (like iPrint) simply shrink the A5 further.
I don't want to have Adobe Reader. It is large, cumbersome and domineering. It's like Real Player - get rid of it. But one needs to have the software that somehow recognises the problem.
A solution is to make at A4 and then shrink. Print that to .PDF when shrunk. It is not the answer, as everything will be too small having used A4 and of course it is no good for the commercial printer. Another solution is to use MS Word and print with its facility. Guess what? I don't have MS Word on my main computer. Nor do I want to be constrained to a Word Processor. Another solution is using a Desk Top Publisher - after all, they are designed for posters, booklets and leaflets. I have a Serif DTP but this would mean doing everything via DTP. Well, it is possible but not by first choice: games software I use with image software together but using DTP would be just one further stage. Serif irritates me too, having to shove things out of the way to bring from the back to the front (and so on).
It's a .PDF issue. Look around the Internet forums and you see the only answer is Adobe Reader.
Well, not so, because I have a similar solution based on Nitro Reader. You do choose A4 size to print, but use its facilities for a side by side printout.
It says All in the dialog box because the .PDF used has two pages, the minimum. In a larger .PDF document, the pages to print must be selected. Multiple pages (to show) is selected. Look at the view - it may be unnecessary to select Auto-rotate and centre. By the way, the OK is just visible because I doggedly use 800 by 600 screen.
That does the job. Nitro Reader is free. Its extra pay-for facilities are provided by other free software. This is rather like Foxit Reader sticking an evaluation mark on. I still use it because PDF-XChange will take it off. And I prefer the older version of PDF-XChange as it isn't trying to flog a pay-for version and does all I want.
So there we are. I'm already building up material for the February-March issue, but it is not certain I'll be doing it. If it doesn't work I'll lose the task.