Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Booklet Skillz

A situation came up at my Real Job where presenting some information would work best as a little booklet. It turned out my experience producing my little player's handout had me prepared to do this. My hobby helped me perform better as a diligent employee, haha!

Actually, my skills are not that great. I used the website people seem familiar with: http://bookletcreator.com/ The advantage is, if you can produce a pdf from your document (easy in OS X & Linux, don't kno0w about Windows) you send it through the ringer and get out a digest-sized booklet. No worrying about moving the pages around to arcane orders, and especially no worries about changing the page orders in your document when you add/remove pages.

The problem is that it just shrinks your pages to digest size. So, you've got to pump up your font size unless you are wearing Glasses of the Eagle; the default 12 point font turns into something that looks smaller than 10pt in print. This can be a problem if the pages you are digest-sizing need to remain as pages and upping the font size cause the content to flow to the next page.

Another problem is that when it shrinks it down to digest size Booklet Creator doesn't strip out your margins. And when you go to print, the new digest-sized document has margins of its own. The two are added together and you get tiny text floating in a sea of huge, blank margin space.

I went back to my original document and stripped out its margin before turning it into a pdf and that was a little better, but meant I had to go through and fiddle with a lot of the text in all my pages which what thi method was supposed to be letting me avoid!

Anyway, let me know if I'm doing anything incredibly stupid. Because the next option is the route I took for my player's handout and is incredibly work-intensive. I'll have to flip the document into landscape, make two columns and do my best to make the original pages fit into these new smaller pages. That might be impossible with my work info because the pages are sort of memo/template things with strict sturcture and won't take kindly to shrinking/massaging.

Okay, this post is starting to bore even me, I think I'll post about wild boar now.


  1. If you're a linux user, you might check out Scribus for the advanced PDF exporting/layout options.

  2. Hey thanks, I've dabbled with it a little and found the learning curve steep; it was much quicker/easier for me to see results with a word processor. But, as is probably true of learning any tool, it's probably time for me to try and learn it because getting what I want in a word processor is anything but quick/easy any more.