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WinstonE

Printing "4 up" (multiple pages on a sheet)

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1. Can I do "4 up" printing?

My current design calls for pages that are 1/4 of a letter-sized sheet. With columns I can lay out two 1/4 pages on a layout.

Can I put two more pages below the first two? The idea is to print 4 directory pages on each letter-sized sheet, then cut it to get the 4 pages. Note that I am not using OS X's "n-up" printing, which reduces the size of multiple pages on each sheet.

2. Can I arrange pages in "folio" format (if that's the word)?

For example, for a 16 page directory pages 1 and 16 would print on the first sheet, 2 and 15 on the next, 3 and 14 on the back of 2 and 15, etc. The sheets would fold together to make a booklet.

Thanks.

- Winston

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1. I don't see why you can't have 2 records per page length, in two columns - that makes 4 per page.

2. This thread might be interesting to you.

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The records are not a consistent size. I have the layout set to slide up to close up empty space. So I can't duplicate a static layout. Also, this would not allow me to put a new header and footer on the lower section of the printed sheet.

Essentially what I want to do is the same thing that columns do, but horizontally instead of vertically. But FM does not appear to allow a second set of header/body/footer on the same page.

Then I still have the problem of ordering the booklet pages on the printed sheets.

I am surprised that FileMaker does not include a simple way to produce booklets from data. Seems that would be a common use.

- Winston

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Maybe you could make your layout half page tall, and print each page twice (from opposite sides). But I am not sure I understand which is "horizontally" and which "vertically". If you have columns, they have to go in both directions, I think - the question is which direction is first.

Filemaker is not a page layout program - perhaps you should consider exporting your data, or delegating the task to the OS/print driver.

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Maybe you could make your layout half page tall, and print each page twice (from opposite sides). But I am not sure I understand which is "horizontally" and which "vertically". If you have columns, they have to go in both directions, I think - the question is which direction is first.

Filemaker is not a page layout program - perhaps you should consider exporting your data, or delegating the task to the OS/print driver.

My current layout is set up for a half page (half of a standard letter page). Your suggestion of running the sheets through the printer twice would work, reversing the top and bottom for the second run. But it wouldn't allow me to deliver a PDF file by email to the printer. I suppose the printer could do the reverse printing, but I'd get charged for a second set of impressions.

I realize that FileMaker is not a page layout program, but it does have aspects of one (headers, footers, sub sections, page numbering, etc.). That's why I use FileMaker instead of a spreadsheet program like Excel: flexibility of formatting output.

A program I have used in the past, ClickBook, can combine and order pages for printing, however it has some limits on how this is done. For example, it can't produce an entire booklet using only a half page - it prints 4 up and then you have to stack the upper and lower parts. This requires more manual intervention than having the top and bottom halves each create one booklet.

The page layout I want is like this:

First sheet:

------------

| | |

| | |

| 1 | 16 |

=========

| | |

| | |

| 1 | 16 |

------------

Back of First sheet:

------------

| | |

| | |

| 15 | 2 |

=========

| | |

| | |

| 15 | 2 |

------------

Second sheet:

------------

| | |

| | |

| 3 | 14 |

=========

| | |

| | |

| 3 | 14 |

------------

Back of Second sheet:

------------

| | |

| | |

| 13 | 4 |

=========

| | |

| | |

| 13 | 4 |

------------

etc.

The stack of sheets (of 8 1/2 x 11 paper) would be cut horizontally in the center to create two booklets, which are then stapled and folded vertically.

- Winston

p.s. I hate HTML forums which don't show what you typed. The three lines should be spread out to show 4 boxes on a portrait sheet of letter paper. That's what they looked like when I typed them (and again when editing). The forum software took out the extra spaces that spread out the bars.

Edited by Guest

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I think this would be very difficult, if not impossible, to do in Filemaker alone, given that records are not of constant height.

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Too bad. FileMaker has pretty good tools for spacing data (sliding and closing up empty space). I am a bit surprised that the formatting options have not changed since FM 3.0 (which I only recently upgraded from).

I have other indications that whatever audience FileMaker targets, it is not people who design directories. For example, not being able to copy layouts from one database to another, unless you buy the high-end version. As a result I have a database full of old layouts that I won't delete in case I need them some time. This would be far more useful to me (and I'd think to most users) than making FileMaker web accessible. Makes one wonder what the "Pro" means in the FileMaker name.

I am surprised there is not more pressure on FileMaker to improve the layout features. This strikes me as a critical area.

- Winston

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It's precisely the sliding that causes the problem here. Filemaker paginates 'on-the-fly'. No record is tied to a specific page. Since, in your example, page 16 comes after page 1, it would require re-ordering the records as part of the pagination process.

Everyone sees the world from their own perspective. If you'd ask me, I'd say no one prints booklets at this age - and everybody wants to publish on the web. For printing professional directories, I'd think you need more than a database application.

not being able to copy layouts from one database to another, unless you buy the high-end version

I think you are mistaken about that: Link

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It's precisely the sliding that causes the problem here. Filemaker paginates 'on-the-fly'. No record is tied to a specific page. Since, in your example, page 16 comes after page 1, it would require re-ordering the records as part of the pagination process.

Since preview can count the pages once they are "rendered" by preview, the only issue besides layout is ordering them for printing.

Everyone sees the world from their own perspective. If you'd ask me, I'd say no one prints booklets at this age - and everybody wants to publish on the web.

We have printed directories from several schools (including the pocket directories I have done), neighborhood associations, churches, service organizations, non-profit organizations, etc. For quickly looking up an address or phone number these are far superior to an online directory. Online directories don't travel well in a car glovebox, a briefcase or a backback either.

Also, several of these organizations do not want their membership info on the web, even on a password protected web site.

not being able to copy layouts from one database to another, unless you buy the high-end version

I think you are mistaken about that

The link you gave was helpful, but I am still confused. Why does the FM Pro Advanced info page imply that you need the Advanced version to do this?:

http://www.filemaker.com/products/fmpa/index.html

Here are 10 ways to turbocharge your solutions using FileMaker Pro 8.5 Advanced:

3. Build or modify databases faster by importing multiple tables at once or by using copy/paste to move fields, tables, scripts, and script steps in or across files.

Thanks.

- Winston

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"..using copy/paste to move fields, tables, scripts, and script steps in or across files"

With FMP Advanced, tables and fields can be copy/pasted betwen files. Scripts and steps can be copy/pasted within or between files.

This is different from field *objects* on layouts, and layouts themselves. Layouts as a whole cannot be copy/pasted between files (or within a file) but layout objects can. The actual layout parts need to be set up manually in the new file, then the layout objects can be pasted onto the layout. It all works as long as the table occurrance and field names are the same.

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the only issue besides layout is ordering them for printing.

There is also the issue of quadrupling the page size, and making sure the internal page count is artificially rounded up to a multiple of 4...

But this is rather pointless: the fact is that Filemaker doesn't do this bit. I think you can find several utilities that will post-process a PDF to a 4-up. And perhaps you should read this.

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Thanks for the link to the discussion on asking the printer to arrange the booklet pages. I will check on this, but these directories are done on a very low budget at a copy shop at Office Depot, Kinko's etc. Past experience says I need to lay it out for them.

Sounds like I will need to use ClickBook.

Thanks to all.

- Winston

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