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How to create PDF of sorted 4-up postcards

Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2018 Apr 05, 2018

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I'm trying to use Acrobat to take a PDF of 5.5 x 4.25 sorted postcards and create an 11 x 8.5 landscape PDF with all the cards 4-up--but sorted so that when the stack is cut into quarters, each quarter-stack will already be in order. Otherwise we need to collate all the cards by hand, and having done that once, we'd like never to have to do it again.

Example: Say we have 100 postcards (we have a lot more). The first would print in the upper left quadrant of the first page printed, but the 26th should print in the upper right quadrant of that first page. The 51st in the lower left, and the 76th in the lower right. The second page, UL, UR, LL, LR, would have postcards #2, 27, 52, and 77.

Are there any fairly easy, inexpensive solutions out there? Running Windows. Thanks!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

You need a page imposition tool. There are no features in Acrobat for this. You'll need to either purchase an external tool, such as Quite Imposing, or build your own. This can be done with an Acrobat JavaScript automation tool, but you'd need to be an expert to write it. I've created similar tools. For example, I've got a page tiling tool here, but it doesn't allow for the custom ordering you need.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 06, 2018 Apr 06, 2018

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Is each postcard its own file? What is the format of these files? What version of Acrobat do you have?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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You need a page imposition tool. There are no features in Acrobat for this. You'll need to either purchase an external tool, such as Quite Imposing, or build your own. This can be done with an Acrobat JavaScript automation tool, but you'd need to be an expert to write it. I've created similar tools. For example, I've got a page tiling tool here, but it doesn't allow for the custom ordering you need.

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Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Guide ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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In addition to the good advice above, there won't be any room for bleed with your scenario, I'm assuming this is ok. If you don't want to use an imposition program, you can do this with InDesign. Create an 11 x 8.5 page, on the master page, create 4 rectangles the size of your postcards. From the pages panel, add 24 pages (based on your master page), then select all pages, and from the pages fly-out menu select Override all master page items (this makes the rectangles selectable on all pages).

Lets also assume you have a 100 page PDF of your postcards, go to file> Place> (select your 100 page PDF)> Show options> All pages. click on the upper left rectangle on page 1 to place the first postcard, click on the upper left rectangle on page 2 to place the 2nd postcard, and so on. You can zoom out to show several InDesign pages at the same time, to make things go faster. When all pages are placed, export to a new stacked PDF.

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2024 Jun 12, 2024

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Thanks much for this how-to. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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You've all been very helpful, thank you. I think for ease of use, even though it will freak some of the users out, I am going to write an excel formula to get the original data source in the right order for this. I just wish it were something simple like, oh choose THIS in the Acrobat print options. Thanks again.

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