Printing A3 PDFs

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Printing two-page spread

Occasionally clients send PDF proofs in which the pages are in double-page spreads, with two A4 pages on each PDF page. Printing them with only an A4 printer can be a problem. If it were only one or two pages, then we can simply use the zoom in Acrobat Reader to get half the page on the screen and then select “Current View” in the print dialog to print what we see on the screen onto paper. If we have a whole, 250 page book, however, that is not practical.

The solution is to print the even-numbered (left-hand) pages by setting ‘Page Scaling’ to ‘none’ and unchecking ‘Auto-Rotate and Center’, which then prints the left-hand half of the page, with the right-hand half overflowing the margin. Then use ‘View> Rotate View’ to turn the whole PDF upside down, through 180 degrees, and use the same process to print the left-hand pages. You can then place the two stacks of printouts beside each other and read them as they appeared on the screen.

Originally published online January 20, 2010, and in SIDelights (Society of Indexers Newsletter)

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