Member lists and Phone directory

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
bdtay-p40
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Member lists and Phone directory

Postby bdtay-p40 » Fri May 01, 2009 10:26 am

This may be a dumb question. I am a newly called membership clerk in a newly created ward and the bishop needs an updated directory printed. He wants the information from the full membership directory in MLS put into a 4x6 telephone directory. I have one from an old ward so I know it can be done. I have been able to customize the layout to print two columns on one sheet but can't figure out how to tweek it so when you fold the 8.5x11 sheet in half to make it into a little booklet the pages are alphabetized in the right order so it reads like a phone book. Any suggestions or am I just that dim witted

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 01, 2009 10:41 am

bdtay wrote:This may be a dumb question. I am a newly called membership clerk in a newly created ward and the bishop needs an updated directory printed. He wants the information from the full membership directory in MLS put into a 4x6 telephone directory. I have one from an old ward so I know it can be done. I have been able to customize the layout to print two columns on one sheet but can't figure out how to tweek it so when you fold the 8.5x11 sheet in half to make it into a little booklet the pages are alphabetized in the right order so it reads like a phone book. Any suggestions or am I just that dim witted


It's certainly not a dumb question. The simple answer is that it can't be done directly from MLS. You need to use some software that can print the pages in the proper order for a booklet. I know that OpenOffice, WordPerfect and MS Word can do this, and I imagine others can as well. Look for a feature called "Booklet printing," "Brochure printing," or "Book fold."

Of course, as soon as you begin transferring data from MLS to a word processor, you have to deal with a lot of formatting issues.

There could conceivably be a way to do this with certain printer drivers for certain printers, but I'm not familiar with any printer drivers that actually do this.

atticusewig
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Adobe Reader can booklet print

Postby atticusewig » Fri May 01, 2009 11:34 pm

Later versions of Adobe Reader (the free one) have
built-in booklet printing (under properties if I remember
correctly). If you then use the
CutePDF printer driver that is normally on ward
computers, you can print your booklet in two-steps:

1) Print to the CutePDF file.
2) Print the resulting PDF in booklet format.

You might have to print only the even-numbered pages
then reload the printed pages (upside down) to print only
the odd-numbered pages. A special stapler or
comb binder then is often used to assemble the booklet.

- Atticus Ewig

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat May 02, 2009 5:22 am

atticusewig wrote:Later versions of Adobe Reader (the free one) have built-in booklet printing (under properties if I remember correctly). If you then use the CutePDF printer driver that is normally on ward computers, you can print your booklet in two-steps:

1) Print to the CutePDF file.
2) Print the resulting PDF in booklet format.


I wasn't aware of that capability -- thanks for pointing that out. I tried it out and it worked pretty well, but you might want to take note of a few things.

  1. You may want to consider using PDFCreator (free open source from SourceForge) if you want to include a cover sheet or any other additional pages. It has a cool feature for combining multiple print sessions into one PDF, so you could print a cover sheet from a word processor, the Membership Directory from MLS, a separator page, and a Leadership Directory. These could all be combined into one PDF (as you will see in the attached samples).
  2. Regardless of what PDF print driver you use, print to the PDF in full size initially, then open it into Acrobat Reader.
  3. I don't know when the Booklet printing capability was added to Acrobat Reader, but it worked fine with version 8.1.4 I have on my home computer.
  4. The option for Booklet Printing is on the Print Menu. Make sure you select your actual printer to print to (not the PDF printer). Under "Page Scaling" choose Booklet Printing. If your printer supports duplex printing, set "Booklet Subset" to "Both Sides" (otherwise you'll have to do "Front side only" then "Back side only" and perhaps choose "Reverse pages" for the back sides). You may need to play with your printer's 2-sided printing settings -- on mine, the back sides of each sheet came out upside down at first, until I set the printer to "tablet" duplexing as opposed to "book" duplexing, but that will vary by printer.
  5. Note that this way of printing a booklet will shrink the text to half the size. This means that font sizes will be about 70% of the original -- 12 point text goes to about 8.5pt, which is readable, but certainly on the small side.

I've attached a couple of sample files using the MLS test database to show what can be done. The first is the full-size PDF created with PDFCreator, and the second is the booklet version printed from Acrobat Reader.
Attachments
Test Ward Directory.pdf
(183.84 KiB) Downloaded 340 times
Test Ward Directory - Booklet.pdf
(208.08 KiB) Downloaded 141 times

greggo
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Postby greggo » Tue May 05, 2009 6:57 am

It's a nitpicky thing, but one suggestion I have is to try printing to .pdf with settings for A4 size paper and then print in booklet format on A4 size paper (if it is available).

For those of you who are unaware of A4, it is an international standard size that is closest to the US standard 8.5" x 11" (A4 is a little taller and skinnier). The nice thing about A4 is that when you fold it in half (to A5 size) it retains the same aspect ratio.

This way, the half-size booklet will use the otherwise wasted space at the top and bottom as in the 2nd example that Alan posted.

greggo
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Postby greggo » Tue May 05, 2009 7:10 am

Duh. I just thought of another possibility.

If the .pdf writer can do custom sizes, you should be able to choose a size with the same aspect ratio as 5.5" x 8.5" (such as 8.5" x 13.136") to get the same desired effect printing in booklet format on 8.5" x 11" paper.

I'll have to try it sometime.


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