[pdftex] update to pdfbook utility

Jaap Eldering eldering at phys.uu.nl
Wed Jul 27 14:52:07 CEST 2005

On Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 01:06:24PM +0100, Tigran Aivazian wrote:
> Hi,
> I apologize for not responding --- I was extremely busy, sorry.

No problem.

> But the reason I didn't respond is because I considered my pdfbook utility 
> obsoleted by a much more powerful pdfpages package.
> So, please explain why use pdfbook when you can do EVERYTHING it does (and 
> much more!) with pdfpages?
> The reason I wrote pdfbook.c was when pdfpages did NOT support right to 
> left binding required for Hebrew books (and Bible in particular). But then 
> I emailed Andreas Matthias (the author of pdfpages) and he fixed this 
> problem by adding a starred version of signature*= parameter which 
> supports Hebrew binding.

True, but if you simply have a pdf document and you want to convert it
to this booklet format, then it's much easier to do this with such a
pdfbook command-line utility than writing this wrapper tex-file with a
pdfpages command: of course that's essentially what pdfbook does for

Couldn't the same be said of the psutils suite (pstops, psnup,psbook),
that you could also make a tex file with some ps inclusion code? (no
expert here though).

Anyways let me elaborate a bit on the reason I rewrote your pdfbook
utility. At my study association we use LaTeX for producing all kinds
of documents including reports of symposia, travels, etc. These kinds
of reports are mostly printed in A5 booklet format and we recently
switched from latex to pdflatex for easier inclusion of (jpg)
images. We used some scripts to transform normal A4 to A5 booklet with
psbook+psnup+pstops, but there wasn't really a pdf equivalent. So we
found your code and I improved it a bit to fit all of our needs.

Thus I think that although it's functionality is fully contained in
the pdfpages package, it still is a convenient wrapper command-line
utility around that.


> On Tue, 26 Jul 2005, Jaap Eldering wrote:
> >On Tue, Jul 26, 2005 at 11:49:49AM +0100, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> >>Jaap Eldering wrote:
> >>
> >>>I recently was searching for a pdf utility to convert documents to a
> >>>book format like psbook+psnup+pstops and found a previous post to this
> >>>list: http://www.tug.org/pipermail/pdftex/2004-February/004760.html
> >>>
> >>>I rewrote parts of this small program, because it didn't completely
> >>>fit my needs (although a good starting point).
> >
> >[snip]
> >
> >>i reckon it would be useful if you and Tigran Aivazian could agree on
> >>submitting the package to ctan.  too many useful bits of tex-ery only
> >>exist on random websites, or in mail list archives/google groups.
> >>
> >>things submitted to ctan get catalogued, so that there's a good chance
> >>that people wanting to use the package in the future are actually in a
> >>position to find it moderately quickly.
> >
> >I already tried to contact Tigran on the email address that's in the
> >code, but got no response.
> >
> >I'd be glad to send it to ctan or any other place where it gets
> >catalogued or packaged, but I have no experience in these matters.
> >
> >I have sent it to CTAN: thanks for the suggestion.
> >
> >Jaap

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