Double sided PDF Problem

Paul McClernan paulmcclernan at
Tue Feb 2 21:19:15 EST 2021

I've worked in the printing industry for 30+ years now. What you're
talking about is called page impositions, and it sounds like you're
doing a work-and-tumble" ("the cards are now face down"), you could
also do a work-and-turn instead (flip the pile on the "landscape"
side, instead of portrait side). Your printer probably has a PPD
(PostScript Printer Description), or something similar that tells it
the maximum printable area for the printer, which is probably not
going to be the same on all sides because of things like the "gripper"
that pulls the sheet through the printer. Even if all things are
equal, if a sheet is pulled through on a slight angle or not perfectly
centered it's not going to align well, so make sure that your design
allows for some cushion to be a little off (as much as about 1/16th
Inch). Things like these can mess you up if you don't take them into
account when you're trying to line up images on both sides of the
sheet (I'm guessing you're planning to cut them down into smaller
card-size pieces?). I'm sure this could all be worked out as far as
how to do the layout and printing directly from LiveCode... but why? I
mean this is a job for page layout and imposition software!
...Although, I have thought about doing a calendar-maker app that can
print a stack of paper that can be saddle-stitched/stapled into an
actual hanging calendar (that's a bit more complicated imposition
layout), Hope any of that helps, good luck.


On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 12:37 PM Curry Kenworthy via use-livecode
<use-livecode at> wrote:
> Brian:
>  > I’d like to print decks of cards, front and back
> This post has become a master puzzle of its own!
> Enough detail to elicit solutions, yet still open-ended.
> Each answer makes its own assumptions, and solves a different problem.
> But I like it. So OK, I'll join. Here goes....
> My own assumptions derive from Keep It Simple (KISS) code philosophy.
> So I'm not going to read more into the problem than necessary.
> I tend to prefer the simplest and most universal answer.
> Also with the fewest dependencies.
>  > The front page is always easy. Cards print left to right: 1-3
>  > Flipping the pages, in portrait layout, the cards are now
>  > face down, in order but reversed: 3,2, 1.
> I'm not going to make ANY assumptions about print drivers solving it.
> (Unless first tested in LC, on target platforms, with target printers.)
> Bob and Jacque might be right. These days, drivers usually auto-fit.
> But often LC doesn't fit assumptions! Test first; don't build on theory.
> The way I read it, so far this is already solved by the 321 reversal.
> Brian already has his images in the proper order, front and back.
> And that approach should be very universal; no dependencies.
> I would expect it to work for any printer, or PDF, any platform.
> There was no mention of booklets or alternating margins, so I'm not
> adding that to the problem. Choosing a simple interpretation.
>  > The problem is, printing 3 wide by 4 tall, aligning the two.
> I see this as just lining up the front and back images precisely so that
> the cards can be cut out. Right now, one side is too far left, or down?
> So my suggestion is:
> 1. Make sure your images are PRECISELY spaced in their arrangement.
> (Use code if necessary.)
> 2. Group the images.
> (Or whatever type of controls you are using for the playing cards.)
> 3. Set loc of group to loc of the LC card.
> (And LC card widths are usually divible by 2, so center might be a pixel
> different front and back, if you're using the same group of images.
> Depending on image design and driver auto-fit, usually that's moot.
> But if it's a problem, easy to solve - several good options.)
> Did I guess right about the nature of the problem? :)
> Nice topic!
> Best wishes,
> Curry Kenworthy
> Custom Software Development
> "Better Methods, Better Results"
> LiveCode Training and Consulting
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