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Here's the goal. I'm trying to make 4x6 notecards for the play Twelfth Night. My idea was to create a Word document with page size 4x6 and then print it 2 pages to a page. The problem is that Word sizes the 4x6 page to fit onto a US Letter page, then fits two of those onto the final printout. Screenshot of resulting PDF below. The question is, how do I get the desired result (two notecards per page that I can cut out into 4x6 cards)?

I'm using Office 2008 for Mac, but I also have Pages installed and I can use Office 2010 on my PC at work. I'm printing to a PDF printer for these tests, but I can imagine the same thing would happen if I tried actual paper.

Screenshots:

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3 Answers

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I may have a partial answer.  (I developed this in Word 2007 on Windows 7; your YMMV.)  I don’t have access to a PDF writer; maybe the following techniques will work on yours.

In Word, set the paper size to 6”×8”, and set it to print two pages per sheet.  This sounds like what you have already tried, but I believe you’ve been doing it in the Print dialog; I did it in Word.

Page Setup dialog, tab 1 ("Margins") Page Setup dialog, tab 2 ("Paper")

Print to the “Microsoft Office Document Image Writer”.  This is a virtual printer that acts like printing to a PDF file, except it prints to a TIFF file.  AFAIK this comes with Microsoft Office.  Now, in the Print dialog, go to Properties and set the page size to 6”×8”.  Print (and identify an output file).

I got a multi-page TIFF file, where each page is 1200×1600 (pixels), and the resolution is 200 dpi — i.e., it is 6”×8”.  Each page of the TIFF file is two pages from the Word document, each 6”×4”, and stacked (vertically).  The image below is what the first page looks like:

                Shrunken copy of page 1 (i.e., pages 1 and 2) of "The Raven"

I believe this is what you want, or at least close to it.

The catch is: I haven’t been able to figure out how to print this properly.  Oh, printing the first page isn’t too hard.  But not many programs understand multi-page TIFF files (like animated GIFs), so they can access and display only the first page.  Windows Photo Viewer is the only program I was able to find that can handle the multiple pages.  But when I used it to print the file, it insisted on up scaling the image to fill the 8½”×11” page — and I know that’s not what you want.

So,

  • Try setting the paper/page size to 6”×8” in the PDF writer properties, and see if you can produce a PDF file that you can print, or

  • Do what I did, and try to find a tool that will print multi-page TIFF files without changing their size.

Good luck.

P.S. I tried to upload the the complete TIFF file to imgur.com, and it converted it to PNG during the upload — keeping only the last page!

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OK, I believe I’ve got the rest of the answer — or, at least, another piece of it. Before I spend another ten minutes typing, are you interested? –  Scott Dec 5 '12 at 18:23
    
I am. I've figured out a round-about way to do it with the Mac, but I'd also like to be able to help my teacher do this in the future, and the school uses PCs. –  stephenwade Dec 7 '12 at 3:36
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Maybe I’m missing something about what you want to do … but how about creating a table, 6 inches wide, with the rows set to a height of exactly 4 inches, do not allow to break across pages.

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That could get the same result, but it requires much more work, because I'd have to manually separate the play into the table cells. With my method of page size, all I have to do is copy and paste the scene into the document and add a few page breaks to avoid breaking up the speeches. Plus, I can add things like card numbers in the footer, which I can't do (at least not nearly as quickly as inserting the page number) in a table. –  stephenwade Dec 4 '12 at 3:02
    
OK, that’s the part that I didn’t understand — you want the cards to be like pages, with each one being full (with the option for keep-with-next or manual page breaks), with automatic page breaks determined by the size of the content, and not like PowerPoint slides, where the “page breaks” are determined manually, based on the logical structure of the content. –  Scott Dec 4 '12 at 3:12
    
Yes. See the first screenshot — in the background you can see the current page layout. –  stephenwade Dec 4 '12 at 3:53
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How about you just buy the proper paper size (half letter size 5.5" x 8.5") and set your Word doc to print on that?

http://www.amazon.com/Half-Letter-Size-Plain-Paper/dp/B005VT328W

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I'm trying to print on US Letter size cardstock. –  stephenwade Dec 4 '12 at 14:33
    
I realize that, but think about how much easier it would be to start with the right size cards. Just sayin'... –  Ian Atkin Dec 4 '12 at 16:20
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