Imposition overview

Handling recurrent impositions with maximum efficiency

The "Impose" action of pdfaPilot CLI and pdfToolbox is not an imposition solution in the ordinary sense of the word. Rather, it is designed to handle the requirements of frequent and recurrent imposition jobs, where achieving the highest possible throughput is more important than a comfortable user interface. It is based on a very simple concept. An "impositioning scheme" can be set up by manually editing the configuration. However, the examples provided with the software already meet numerous typical requirements of imposition or can easily be customized to suit specific client needs.

Despite the simplicity of this underlying concept, it is capable of meeting and implementing virtually all the usual demands of imposition.

A simple principle for achieving maximum throughput

The basic idea behind the "Impose" action is very simple: the master for one or several sheets is made available in the form of a PDF file. This has the measurements of the relevant flat and contains all the necessary static elements such as print control strips or crop- and registration marks.

This PDF document is accompanied by an ASCII file, containing the mea­surements which specify where the pages are to be placed later on the template. These measurements contain not only information about the positioning of each page, but also any scaling that may be necessary (including options for automatic adjustment), rotation or the desired allowance for cropping.

A control list refers back to this combination of template and template configuration. Taking the template as a background sheet, the control list places the pages of a PDF document to be imposed in a new PDF docu-­ment. Through simple script-like instructions multiple-ups as well as the mounting of dynamic print control elements or sheet labeling are also possible.

Impose using Switchboard

Impose function under Switchboard > Arrange > Impose is a one step solution to your imposition needs. All you have to do is select the predefined page size, pages per sheet (e.g. 2,4,8 or any), imposition scheme like '2 pages step & repeat' and the sheet configuration and execute the command.

Only until pdfToolbox 12

After editing the PageSizes.txt file to add a custom page size or change one of the built-in page sizes, you might get an error dialog box and the Impose action will not be shown. If you edit the file, you have to keep to this format exactly or pdfToolbox will no longer be able to parse the file and cause the error dialog box to appear.

The solution is to find the PageSizes.txt file on your system:

  • On Mac, the file is  located at: 
    • /Users/<USERNAME>/Library/Preferences/callas\ software/callas\ pdfToolbox\ 11/Repositories/Custom/<version>/Actions/PageSizes.txt
  • On Windows, the file is  located at: 
    • C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\AppData\callas software\callas pdfToolbox 11\Repositories\Custom\<version>\Actions

and open this PageSizes.txt file and remove the offending information. For best results, use a text editor that preserves spaces and tabs and that can show invisible characters. That will make it much easier to understand the format of this file and to fix whatever error you introduced.

Sheet templates and Runlists provided

Desktop version (until pdfToolbox 12)

You will find the folders "RunListConfig" and "SheetConfig" in:

%PROGRAMFILES%\callas pdfaPilot <version>\etc\Actions\Imposition
%PROGRAMFILES%\callas pdfToolbox <version>\etc\Actions\Imposition 

Server/CLI version

You will find the folders "RunListConfig" and "SheetConfig" in:

%PROGRAMFILES%\callas pdfaPilot Server <version>\cli\etc\Actions\Imposition
 %PROGRAMFILES%\callas pdfToolbox Server <version>\cli\etc\Actions\Imposition