PDF, PostScript and Imposition tools

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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
Installation Usage PDF issues Imposition Other


First: you may not know what imposition is: Wikipedia will tell you.

A list of tools which are useful for imposition.

Two type of software are listed here:

  • software which can be obtained free of charge and can help you do some imposition tasks.
  • imposition software (free, free of charge or payware)


example for making a booklet:

$ java.exe -cp multivalent.jar" tool.pdf.Impose -dim 2x1 -layout 2,3,4,1
-paper "297x210 mm" -verbose file.pdf
  • PoDoFo Impose (free; imposition tool distributed with the PoDoFo library)
  • On-line imposition with PoDoFo (web based, work in progress; by Pierre Marchand; there is still an old server)
  • Adobe Reader 8 and 9 will do booklet printing for you. For a A4 booklet, you just need to export an A5 document to PDF and then tell Adobe Reader to print it as a booklet.
  • PDFSaM is a very reliable Java-based tool that provides many options to manipulate PDF files. Especially recommended for pre-press work!
  • jPDF Tweak is a versatile Java-based tool with loads of options to edit PDF files.
  • PDFedit is a collection of Qt3 scripts assembled under a GUI. It permits editing PDF files down to the level of text editing, font changes and more.

Linux, Unix and "Darwin"


  • PDFmergeX (donationware): not really an imposition tool... but it may have enough features for you
  • CombinePDFs (donationware)