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Is there a simple way to convert a PDF to a 2-up PDF so that I can send it to an uncooperative printer and have it actually come out 2-up?

I'm hoping to use commonly available linux tools. (I'm running debian FWIW.)


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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can use pdfnup for this purpose. It is a part of pdfjam and used like this:

pdfnup document.pdf --nup 2x1 --outfile document2up.pdf
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Thanks to this question and after years of extensive psnup and pdfnup usage I finally understand where its name comes from :-) – Ludwig Weinzierl Aug 4 '09 at 6:43
Note that pdfnup loses any hyperlinks in your document. – David Röthlisberger Jul 2 '15 at 15:36

a2ps can do a number of things with basically anything and print it to the printer. It can also print things 2-up (or 4-up, or 8-up)

For your purposes:

a2ps file.pdf -2 -Pprinter

a2ps delegates some of it's work to pdf2ps, so make sure that it is installed on your system. You also may want to look at the a2ps man page if you want to do some other things with the swiss army knife which is a2ps.

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Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I can't send it directly to the printer. My braindead printer does bizarre things when instructed to print 2up. The --outfile=FILE argument to a2ps is ok, but translating to ps often causes loss of quality in the output. – bstpierre Aug 4 '09 at 13:55

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