The solution here is far from unique. Try here for a psychadelic version that is the basis of the approach presented here.
We are concerned here only with Windows machines: Win9x and WinNT (2000, XP, etc.)
The solution I present here is the one that I know works. The hard work is in the installation, and the generation is pretty simple after that. I have structured this document with the usage information first, then an installation procedure followed by a discussion of issues. The approach presented here is very easy to use but is a little tedious to install.
To create a PDF document:
In the source application of the document, e.g. your Word Processor or DTP package, Print the file to a special printer called “PDF Generator”.
When the printer driver asks you for a filename, navigate to where you want to store the file and type the filename you want the file to be found as. Notice that the program will not query you to overwrite an existing file, it will just do it. So be careful.
Wait until the Ghostscript command prompt disappears from your task bar before trying to access the created file.
That's all there is to it. Once you have created a PDF file, you can double click it to view it in, say, Acrobat Reader. Or you can make a booklet out of it and then view and print in Acrobat Reader or the like.
If you follow the installation procedure here, you can create a booklet that mimics the process of laying down two sheets of an A4 or letter document onto a photocopier and reducing them to a single page of A4. To do this:
In Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer), navigate to find the PDF file. Right click the PDF file and select “Booklet(A4)”. A command prompt will appear and some text flash up on it (or you may have time to read it if you have a slow machine or large file). The PDF file will have grown by about 3%. If you now open the file, it will show up 2 pages at a time ready for double sided printing.
Select File/Print and your favourite printer to print on. If your printer has no duplexing option (a nifty gadget for turning paper over to allow a printer to print on both sides), select “Odd pages only” and print just the odd pages. Then turn all the pages over by flipping them on there short edge (as if you were turning pages in a landscape book). Now print the “Even pages only”. And, hey presto! One completed booklet. To bind, find yourself a long armed stapler and staple. Finding such tools can be a little tricky.
Installing all the tools that go to allow such simple usage is straightforward, but somewhat tedious. There are a number of steps that need to be gone through, but none of them are all that complicated. Just follow the instructions listed here carefully, and you should have something that works.
The installation involves installing 3 or 4 packages (depending upon whether you want booklet creation or not): Ghostscript to convert from Postscript to PDF; Adobe Postscript Printer Driver to create the Postscript from your application, in a consistent fashion; Redmon to link the two seamlessly; pdfbklt to create a booklet. These instructions will describe how to get hold of these programs and how to install and configure them in this context.
Download Ghoscript version 7.22 or later, available here. I would recommend getting the latest version (the installation with the highest version number).
Run the installation program (gs730w32.exe) and follow the defaults. This will install Ghostscript into c:\gs\gs7.30 (which may vary for different versions of Ghoscript. We will use this directory by default later on, adjust these instructions as necessary)
Download the Adobe PS Printer driver from here. You will also need a Postscript Printer Driver for a specific printer. We use the one from Acrobat 4, available here.
Run the installer program (winsteng.exe)
When it asks for a particular printer to install, select Adist4.ppd (Acrobat Distiller)
Rename the printer to “PDF Generator”
Route the printer to LPT1: for now (it won't stay there).
Download the latest version of Redmon, available here
Unpack redmon17.zip into
The configuration basically involves setting up the redmon printer port and integrating it into the Ghoscript PDF Generator printer configuration.
Find the Ghostscript PDF Generator printer in Windows Explorer (under Printers).
Right click and select Properties
Select the “Details” tab.
Click: Add Port...
Select “Redirected Port”
Accept the default of “RPT1:”
Click Port Settings...
Set the Program to:
Set the Arguments to (and this is
-IC:\gs\gs7.30\lib;C:\gs\fonts -dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook -q
-dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -r600 -sPAPERSIZE=A4
"-sOutputFile=%1" -c save pop -f -
Set the Output to: Prompt for filename
Set Run to: Minimize
Select Spool Settings...
Disable bidirectional support.
This completes the installation process for creating PDF files. You can now print to the Ghoscript PDF Generator printer and create PDF files as per the usage instructions above.
To create booklets, it is necessary to install a further program.
Download pdfbklt.exe from here.
In Windows Explorer, Select: Tools/Folder Options/FileTypes
Scroll down to PDF (Adobe Acrobat Document)
Click Edit... (or Advanced...)
Click New... (to add a new action for that file type)
Call it “Booklet(A4)”
Make the command:
One big reason why you may want to pay out for the full Acrobat product is that Ghostscript does not produce PDF that can be searched. Text is recoded through the conversion process and so cannot be searched. This is a big loss. Ah well, you get what you pay for. There are no plans to upgrade Ghostcript to support creating searchable text. Please feel free to contribute a patch!
PDFBklt is a Perl program that comes as part of the Text::PDF package. The source of the latest version is available on CPAN.
This is an initial draft of this document. All corrections are greatly welcomed.