This was one of these exercises that seemed like it would be dead easy but took me forever to figure out. My goal was simple: to take one document, and print 4 copies of it to a PDF file (not to paper for now) so that there were 4-up on the page instead of wasting the entire page for this small document. That way I can have four identical copies of the document using 1/4 of the page each so reducing my print by 75%.
I won’t bore you with all the things that didn’t work, and skip straight to the solution:
Software You’ll Need
- Ubuntu (or other free operating system that comes with PDF printing)
- Scribus desktop publishing software (great free / open software). If you are using Ubuntu it should be in the Software Centre.
Prepare your Document
- Create your document in Scribus as a full page document using full margins of page.
Remember that this will shrink down when you do multiple copies up so it might make sense work in a 75% zoomed out view to see more accurately what it will look like when printed.
You can use other software and adapt my tutorial here accordingly, of course, but Scribus is great.
- Once your first page is complete, in Scribus, select your page (there is probably only one) and go to ‘pages’ and ‘copy’.
- Choose how many copies you want. In my case I wanted 4 as mentioned so I chose 3 copies to follow my original first page. It will likely default to ‘at end’ for where you want to put them so that’s good.
- Once you have your four pages of the same thing, save your Scribus file for safe-keeping.
- Now go to ‘File’ and ‘Export as PDF’
Now you will have your PDF document with 4 large full size pages. Check it to be sure and if anything is incorrect, start again until this PDF document is correct.
Print N-UP to PDF
- Go find the 4 page PDF file you just exported from Scribus and open it.
- Select the print option and when the dialogue opens, select ‘print to file’ in the general tab.
- Then, before printing select the ‘page setup’ tab at the top. Select ‘4’ in the ‘pages per side’ field.
- Print away!
Now you should have a single PDF page, with 4 copies of your original page equally spaced for printing 4 up.
I hope some or all of this helps one or all of you.