Forum Feature requests

Printer Spread Support

I’ve been going through the resources on your site, the forum, and doing some testing on the non-commercial free version and was wondering if Prince XML can create printer spreads. This would be a great asset for making online brochures or magazines directly ready for print production. It looks like Prince is pretty close to having this functionality but it would require combining two html docs into one pdf page.

For example, when 4 HTML pages are input through Prince, instead of being output as 4 single pdf pages they need to be combined and reordered into 2 spreads(2 pdf pages that have double the width and no middle margin where the pages meet). Instead of being set up in reader spreads as [pg1, pg2, pg3, pg4], in printer spreads it would look like[(pg4, pg1), (pg2, pg3)] so that the pages line up when printed and folded into a booklet.

Using the CSS @page rule, the left pages could be set to have no right margin and the right pages would have no left margin. This could also require Prince to reorder the pages of the initial HTML documents or their original input order could be rearranged prior to output to match the spread.

//So instead of
prince pg1.html pg2.html pg3.html pg4.html –o readerSpread.pdf

//We could arrange it as
prince --prntsprd pg4.html pg1.html pg2.html pg3.html –o printerSpread.pdf

//Or if only one spread can be created at a time
prince --prntsprd pg4.html pg1.html –o printerSpread1.pdf
prince --prntsprd pg2.html pg3.html –o printerSpread2.pdf

The looming problem that I see is still the question of combining the two pages into one larger spread (that still has a recognizable trim box). Also after the two pages are combined onto one spread will the next spread be added to the document or will each spread be created as a different pdf doc? It would also be interesting to know if other people have attempted to use Prince to create printer spreads with a different method.

Prince has no support for imposition at this time, so it would be necessary to generate the PDF with Prince and then use a third-party tool to transform the PDF as necessary. For example, I think pdftk can do some basic imposition tasks.

We may add some features like this to Prince in the future, but probably won't have time to get to that this year.