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