Printing Course Slides

The most PDF-Reader do not support good arrangements for slides.
The most PDF-Reader do not support good arrangements for slides.

If you want to print your slides with Linux you have not that much choice how to arrange them. For 4:3-Slides, which should be the most common, 2×4 slides per page would be ideal. Unfortunately the print-menu of the most PDF-Viewer do not have this configuration.
Also it would be nice if there could be some extra space for the punch holes. And since we want to print double-sided to save paper (and to let it look less. It’s hard to motivate yourself with a thick bunch of paper.), the extra space has to be different for the even and the odd pages.

A optimal page usage with extra space for the punch holes. The content of the slides can be ignored. It's simply the first set of slides I found and not the best.
A optimal page usage with extra space for the punch holes. The content of the slides can be ignored. It’s simply the first set of slides I found and not the best.

A simple tool to generate such a printable PDF is pdfnup out of the pdfjam package. The used command is

pdfnup --twoside --nup 2x4 --suffix '2x4' --no-landscape --offset '0.8cm 0cm' --scale '0.95' slides.pdf
  • –twoside
    We want to print two-sided. If your printer does not support that, you can simply print first all odd pages and afterward you put the printed pages back into the printer and print the even pages on their backside.
  • –nup 2×4
    For the 2×4 arrangement.
  • –suffix ‚2×4‘
    The output-file will have ‚2×4‘ as suffix
  • –no-landscape
    If you want to print landscape you can write –landscape but then the 2×4 arrangement would be very bad.
  • –offset ‚0.8cm 0cm‘
    The offset for  the punch holes. 0.8cm for the side with the punch holes and 0cm for the other
  • –scale ‚0.95‘
    Maybe you have to vary the scale if the single slides are too big or small.
  • slides.pdf
    The input file

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