Making 2-up PDFs in Sibelius 7

by Philip Rothman on March 26, 2013 · 13 comments

in Tutorials

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One of the nice features in Sibelius releases prior to Sibelius 7 was the ability to not only print “2-ups” (2 images per sheet, side by side), but to make PDFs of them directly from the Sibelius Print dialog. By selecting this in Sibelius 6:

Sib 6 print

the result was a PDF that looked like this:

Chanson-C minor

In Sibelius 7, one can still print 2-ups using Backstage (File > Print > Settings, and from the drop-down that says “Normal” select instead “2 Pages Per Sheet”):

 

Sib 7 print

However, to make PDFs in this way, one is stymied. It’s not possible using the OS dialog (at least on Mac; maybe PC users can comment further).

In order to make 2-up PDFs, then, my method has been to export PDFs from Sibelius (File > Export > PDF) and then impose the 2-up PDFs using third-party software. There are several expensive software programs that can do this, but my favorite for Mac OS X is a freeware app called Create Booklet.

Once you install Create Booklet, it will appear as an option whenever you have the ability to Save as PDF, which is useful:

CBSVisual

But that doesn’t quite yet help us with our Sibelius problem, because the default Create Booklet setting on a 2-page part will give you a “booklet” instead of a 2-up document.

The key is to use Create Booklet’s support for Automator actions. Yes, Automator — the little-known but very powerful tool built into OS X. Launch Automator (it’s in your Applications folder) and go to Workflow > Actions > Library > PDFs. If you’ve installed Create Booklet, you will see PDF Booklet as one of the options. Select “add empty first page” and then drag into Automator (before the PDF Booklet Action) all of the files which you wish to make into 2-ups.

Here’s my workflow to create one combined PDF of 2-ups from four 2-page, single-sided PDFs (string quartet parts)

  1. Drag the single-sided PDFs into Automator (this will create an action called Get Specified Finder Items)
  2. Choose the PDF Booklet Action, and select “add empty first page”
  3. Choose the Extract Odd & Even Pages Action, and select “Extract Only even pages”
  4. Choose the Combine PDF Pages Action, and select “Combine documents by Appending pages”
  5. Run
  6. Choose “Results” and drag the temp file into Preview (in case Preview doesn’t automatically open it)
  7. Save the newly appended 2-up file

2up workflowBest of all, you can save this Automator workflow, and any others like it, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of re-creating these steps every time. Just save your workflow without the first part (Get Specified Finder Items) because you likely won’t be working on the same files every time.

It would be nice if Sibelius 7 supported 2-up PDFs natively like in previous versions. Until (or unless) this functionality is restored, Create Booklet + Automator = nice 2-up PDFs, at least on Mac.

Please comment if you have other ideas, especially if you’re on a PC, since this tutorial is very Mac-specific.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

James Gilbert March 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM

As far as I can see, Windows does not offer (nor ever has offered) a ‘print to pdf’ option *unless* you have installed a 3rd party program that has a pdf print driver (like Foxit, ghostview or Adobe Acrobat).

I think it depends on your printer driver in windows, but I am able to print 2-up pages from an exported PDF file from within the program’s printer dialog box. (I tried it with Foxit and Acrobat). I do end up with too much white space above & below the music for my taste

Wheat Williams March 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

The correct technical term in the printing industry for making a 2-up or a “booklet” is called “imposition”.

I recommend the Mac utility Cheap Impostor, which costs US $35. It has a trial version, but not all features are enabled in the trial.

With Cheap Impostor, I can not only print what I want at home on my inkjet printer; I can also generate new imposed PDF files that I can have printed by a professional print shop. It works perfectly.

http://cheapimpostor.com

There are professional, printing-industry programs for imposing PDFs that cost many hundreds of dollars; Cheap Impostor does the basics for much less money.

Wheat Williams March 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM

The problem is that Sibelius 6.x and earlier relied on Mac OS X’s built-in features for creating PDFs at the operating system level. Sibelius 7, on the other hand, bypasses Mac OS X’s PDF services and substitutes its own features which are identical to the Windows version of Sibelius 7. The PDF features in Sibelius 7 are very limited, meaning that Sibelius 7 for Mac was a huge step backwards in terms of making PDFs.

Wolfgang S. March 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Hi Philip,
“It’s not possible using the OS dialog – at least on Mac” – sorry, but that’s not correct. If you scroll down on the Sibelius 7-print page there is a button “Use OS-Dialog” (I don’t know the exact phrase ’cause I’m using a German version) and from there on the familiar OS X-printer dialog opens where I choose “Layout”, then “2 pages” and finally “Save as PDF”.
No need for extra software.
(I’m still on OS 10.6.8)

Robin Walker March 26, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Under Windows, you would simply print to PDF (rather than Export to PDF), and then you can use Sibelius’s built-in “2 Pages Per Sheet” setting. There are many free print-to-PDF utilities available for Windows.

Philip Rothman March 26, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Hi Wolfgang,

Thanks for pointing this out. The reason I didn’t mention this is because it is impossible (in my experience) to control how Mac OS scales the images on the 2-up. I can’t get it to produce the images at 100% – it always reduces them unacceptably. Do you know of a way to get the 2-up images to appear at 100% using this method?

Wolfgang S. March 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Just figured out a way:
Instead of clicking on “Save as PDF” choose “Preview”. Now the OS X Preview app opens where you choose “Print” (cmd-P) and here you can scale the image.
Afterwards you can “Save as PDF”.
Hopefully that helps.

Philip Rothman March 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM

By scaling the image, I meant the actual image of the music on the PDF, not the image of the PDF on the screen. I can’t get the pages to appear at 100% of their original size on a 2-up PDF using this method.

Wolfgang S. March 26, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Hi Philip,
yes – with my method you can actually scale the image of the music on the PDF! Try it out.
I do this all the time when I prepare scores for my lectures to save paper.

Richard Walsh March 29, 2013 at 6:06 PM

What is this thing called “Backstage”?

Johs R. April 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Hi Philip,

I use Wolfgang’s method.
When you get to the last dialogue, it’s vital that you click “show details” to reveal the scale option.
The entire sequence is this:

cmd+p
use OS Dialog
Pages Attributes>Layout
Pages per Sheet>2
PDF>open in PDF preview
cmd+p
Show details
Scale
PDF>Save as PDF

The pages appear at 100% initially, so I only have to go through the whole sequence when I need to shrink them.

Philip Rothman April 3, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Hi Johs,

Thanks for sharing. I can’t get it to work while trying, for example, to make a 2-up on 11×17 (tabloid size) paper from two 8.5×11 (letter size) pages. But I’m glad it works for you and perhaps others will have better luck than me with this method!

andre April 8, 2013 at 3:31 AM

ik heb een laptop acer aspire 7730G
vista
service pak 2
geheugen 4 GB
32 – Bits besturing
na de C schijf geformateerd te hebben krijg ik Sibelius 5.25 er niet meer op geinstalleerd.
ik bezit een aangekochte originele versie 479 euro.
ik heb al van alles geprobeerd en het wil mij niet lukken. het stond er vroeger op. wie kan mij verder helpen?

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