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PDF Utilities

CleverCat may provide the fastest method of creating a product catalog. Because it is a hybrid of Page-Layout and Database-driven softwares, it can also create a very professional looking catalog and most users will be satisfied with the results. However, some users may want to further enhance their catalogs by printing and modifying the PDF files.
Adobe Acrobat is the software most people are familiar with for editing PDF files but another option to consider is Nitro PDF. Both of these are good solutions for editing an existing PDF, especially if images must be inserted.
Even when combined with these additional utilities, using CleverCat can still be much faster than using a traditional Page-Layout software.

Combining PDF Files

CleverCat does not produce PDF files on it's own. Instead, it uses whatever PDF writing software you already have installed on your PC. Most of the PDF samples you will find on this site were printed using the PDF Writer from www.bullzip.com.

When printing multiple categories at once from the Printing Menu, each category is printed as a separate PDF file.

Most PDF Writers, including Bullzip, have the ability to combine all these separate files into a single file during the initial printing process.

In this screenshot, I have selected the Append option and, as each Create File dialog window pops up, I'll give each the same file name. The result will be a single PDF file with all the categories in it.

The process for combining files will be different for each PDF writer but this method works well if you have only a few categories.

With some PDF writers, the process of merging files can take a long time as they appear to rewrite the combined file each time a new one is added. If you have many categories or there are a large number of pages in each category, another approach is needed.

Combining PDF Files - PDF Binder

PDF Binder is the simplest and fastest tool I have found for combining PDF files.

Using Bullzip to produce the original files, I just click the Save button at each Create File pop-up and then drag all the files into the PDF Binder window. Click the Bind! icon and give the new file a name and PDF Binder creates the final file in seconds.

Files dragged into PDF Binder as a group will be automatically sorted alphabetically. You can re-sort them manually using the Up and Down Arrows on the Menu Bar or, you can use the Prefix Filenames for PDF Binding option on CleverCat's Printing Menu. This option adds the starting page number to each PDF file as three digits so that the new alphabetical order is the same as your printing order.

 

Setting Margins for Binding

If you are printing a catalog with a wider inside margin (gutter) for binding, on your own printer, then the margin settings are normally handled by the print driver. As in this screenshot, you can enter the Binding Offset value in the print dialog.

However, if you are producing a PDF which you will send out for high-volume printing, the offset must be built into the PDF itself.

CleverCat cannot do this, but there are several easy-to-use PDF utilities which can.

 

Briss is one of several Page Cropping utilities which can be used to create a Gutter.

Consider this PDF sample. CleverCat automatically lays out the page for Duplex printing - the Page Number and the Category are on the outside edge of the page. However, CleverCat can only center the content horizontally, so the left and right margins are equal.


My goal here will be to create a margin of 3/4" on the inside, bound edge of the page and 1/4" on the outside. With a total required margin width of 1", I must set the margins in CleverCat to 1/2" and print the category as a PDF file.

Next, I'll start Briss and load that PDF file.

The screenshot below shows all the pages of the PDF as if they are transparencies. In this example, you can see the text from multiple pages overlaying each other. This view helps you identify the extent of the content throughout the entire PDF.

Briss automatically detects the edges of the page content and places the transparent blue boxes you see in the screenshot above. The next step is to resize those boxes to cover only the portion of the page you want to keep, or exclude the portion you want removed.

At the upper-left and bottom-right corners of the blue boxes are darker squares which you can drag to resize the box. Briss also has size and position fields under it's Rectangle menu where you can manually enter these dimensions.

In my example, I've increased the size of the selection boxes to the full height of the page and excluded only the 1/2" margin on the outside edge of each page. Under the Action menu, select Crop and enter a file name to create the new, cropped file.

Next, I open the cropped file in Adobe Reader. In this screenshot, you can see that the 1/2" margin on the outside edge has been removed. The page is now only 8" wide so the last step is to reprint the cropped PDF to the final PDF. You can do this from within Adobe Reader.

In the Print window, select Auto-Rotate and Center. The information below the Preview box indicates that the 8.0 x 11.0in Document will be printed - centered - on 8.5 x 11.0in Paper, effectively adding 1/4" to each side of the page.

The final result is shown below. The original page was 8 1/2" wide with 1/2" margins on both sides. One of those 1/2" margins was removed and the resulting 8" wide page was re-centered on 8 1/2" again. The additional 1/4" added to each side creates the desired margins of 1/4" and 3/4".

 

Govert's Tools - Booklet Printing

Booklet style printing is something I am occasionally asked about and Govert's Tools is a website I have found which contains a variety of free (donation appreciated) PDF tools.

Simple Imposition can be used to quickly and easily re-organize PDF pages. A tutorial for this already exists on the linked page so I'll only show the result of the Booklet operation here. information here.

In the PDF sample below, the original 8-page document on 8 1/2" paper is now a 4-page document on 17" x 11" paper.

The first and last pages of the original 8-page document are now together on the first 17" x 11" page so that they form the front and back pages of the booklet.

 

Govert's Tools - PDF Overlay

Watermarks or Overlays are a common feature of most PDF Writers. However with some PDF writers, this function only works on a single page or the same image is stamped on all pages.

In the PDF sample below, the two pages have different colored tabs for each subcategory.
CleverCat cannot create the rotated-text used in these tabs so a Watermark or Overlay is the only way to do this.

Govert's Tools has another utility which you may find useful.
PDF Overlayer can stamp one PDF with another PDF of the same number of pages.

To produce this sample, a Word document was created with just the colored tabs you see on the outside edges of the pages. This document was then printed as a PDF file and PDF Overlay was used to combine the two PDF files.



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