Rookie booklet printing problem/question

Dorico booklet printing is working fine for “dumb” printers that are only capable of single-sided printing. It orders the pages so that one side of every page prints first, then you feed the printed stack back through the printer and print the other side. The problem is that the printer I use is remote and I access it through a web interface. There is no duplex tray available to me and there’s no human to intervene and flip the stack and feed it through again. The printer also has no booklet function so I can’t just feed it 8.5x11 pages and trust the printer or its driver to do the right thing. Instead of what appears to be generated in booklet printing mode (front-front-front-back-back-back), I need the pages interleaved differently (front-back-front-back-front-back or back-front-back-front-back-front, whichever makes sense). Is there any way to accomplish this?

Aside from a straight-up PDF file, you mean?

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I’m not exactly sure what you mean… but a few thoughts come to mind based on my own previous experience in this department.

Consider checking out the NYC Music Services pdf plugins which might help in some cases.

Perhaps another option is to print odd pages, take the paper and put it back in the printer upside down and then print the even pages.

Honestly, even the most basic printers have had double sided functionality for a long time… to the point that you would probably have to go out of your way to find a single-side-only printer new. It might just be time to get a new printer.

Sorry that I wasn’t clear. Let’s see if I can explain myself a bit better.

The issue is that the printer I need to use lives behind a web service and is unattended. There’s no way someone can take a stack of pages printed on one side, flip them over, and print the other side. So I need to have the pages generated generated by Dorico in booklet mode come out back-front-back-front-back-front rather than back-back-back-front-front-front. When I tried sending the PDF that Dorico produced in booklet mode to this printer, the fronts and backs are all incorrect. The resulting booklet is a jumbled up mess. The first sheet out had two back pages, the next sheet had a back and a front, and the final sheet had two front pages…that’s exactly in the order that they came out of Dorico. What I’d ideally want is an option to allow me to specify a different booklet mode page ordering from Dorico for printing on bare bones printers like this one. Does that make more sense?

To say another way, the printer does one page at a time. First, it prints the front, then it prints the back, then it ejects the page. It makes the assumption that front follows back in the file you’re printing from. It has no duplex tray where the 3 pages for the front can be stacked and then automatically fed back for printing on the other side. If it did, there would be no issue.

FYI: In the web service that fronts this printer, I have 3 controls that are rendered in my browser. I can upload a file, select the paper size, and specify double or single sided printing. That’s all I have. My only option is to generate PDFs in booklet mode and print double sided on 11x17 paper. In order for that to work on this printer, I need the 11x17 pages to be generated in the right order…they’re not by default.

If there’s a plug-in to do this, please let me know what it is, where I can find it, and how to configure it in Dorico.

I print 2-up booklets [ie-two letter scaled to one 11x17] all the time from Dorico no problem… so something seems to be odd about your printer controls.

If you set up your score as letter, and then choose the booklet option, but specifying 11x17 paper flipped on the short side it should all be fine.

Check out the NYC music services thing I mentioned; those allow you to generate booklets and scale PDFs to new sizes too.

Perhaps you need to try printing from a pdf viewer rather than dorico? Some people have had issues with dorico not properly controlling brother printers in the past… but it sounds like your printer is a whole ‘mother beast since you’re printing via a web portal.

Thank you. That helps. Your suggestion is almost there but not quite all the way there, but it did give me a better clue. Here’s what I’ve done. The flipping doesn’t seem to affect anything. I do already generate 8.5x11 pages in my layout. Spreads and 2-up don’t work…I have 10+ pages for each part in the page ordering is just totally broken and won’t result in a decent booklet. Under duplex printing, I’ve selected “One side only” under “Print on,” with “Flip automatically” controls set, and I’ve checked the “reverse order of outward pages.” Explicitly specifying short or long side for flipping doesn’t have any affect at all on the way the pages are ordered. I’m also noticing that I get descending even numbered pages on the left side and ascending odd number pages on the left side. That seems to get things in a good order. I’m going to try to print this monster and see what happens. If that’s the magic bullet, then I feel the fool. :slight_smile:

You did not say this in your opening post, and of course it makes a big difference. Your best option (if you can afford it) is to follow Romanos’s advice and check out NYC Music Services, if only to get an estimate.

If you do not have the option to print on 11x17", then your best bet is to generate the pages in order, not try to form them into a book at your end.

Thanks for that. I hear you. But… This is a one-off for a community band arranged by one of our band members and will probably be played once later this summer. It’s not cost effective for us (we run on a shoestring) to go to real music services…unfortunately, that’ll be a non-starter. We need to do everything in-house or as close to in-house and as cheaply as we can for this. We play a number of outdoor concerts in the summer and individual pages tend to fly away in the So. Cal. breezes and they generate way too many page turns for our players to deal with. It’s got to be booklet on 11x17 and I do have that option. This wouldn’t have been an issue if our printer (hardware) hadn’t failed catastrophically (drum died, replacement parts are obsolete and no longer produced so we have brick on our hands) on me today. The printer was perfectly capable of booklet printing on 11x17 from 8.5x11 pages and that’s what I usually do. This needs to be done by Monday morning so that it can get into folders for the rehearsal on Tuesday. If I sound frantic, that’s because I am.

I meant the pdf utilities programs which you can get for free.

Ah! I misunderstood. I see a BatchBooklet utility that looks promising. I’ll give that a shot if the printing experiment fails.

I used with success a little tool called CheapImpostor:

OK. Here’s the final solution. The PDF-BatchBooklet did the trick and did a spot-on ordering of the pages for me. However, I did one more step and that was to run the booklets through the PDFMerger tool in PDFBox standalone command line tools (you can find the tools here - Java is required: Apache PDFBox | Download). This allowed me to append copies of each of my 30 parts in the correct number (with the help of a shell script) to a single PDF file which I could then submit as a single print job, thus avoiding opening 30 independent jobs.

Thanks to one and all for you patience with me…when I’m stressed my skull becomes about 50% thicker than normal so I really appreciate your persistence with me. Y’all are lifesavers and are much appreciated.

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For those less inclined to use command line tools, PDF-BatchStitch (also available from Notation Central) does a great job of what you just described.

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Hi, Jeff! It’s great to see you here on the forum and I’m glad you got your printing issue sorted out. I got the newsletter for the upcoming summer concert season, and it sounds like it’s going to be a great 75th Diamond Jubilee celebration of music. Tell everyone at PCB that I miss them.

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Thanks for the tip. I’ll have a look at that next. Time to advance beyond stone knives and bearskins.