Manual Imposition Control Using Shuffle Layout

Imposition Wizard first places a pages grid of defined size on the sheet, then fills it up with pages according to the selected layout (N–Up, Step and Repeat, and so on). Each layout defines its own rules of filling the same grid, providing different imposition schemes.

Sometimes you need a more custom layout and the Shuffle option can help. You select it using the Layout drop–down list at the Layout tab:

Selecting shuffle layout in Imposition Wizard

By default you see a simple N–Up–like layout, but there are some extra controls at the bottom of the right panel. That’s where shuffle happens.

How Shuffle Works

If you look at the bottom of the right tab, you’ll see two extra parameters:

Extra parameters of the shuffle layout in Imposition Wizard

The parameters are Group size and Shuffle rules and here’s how they work.

Imposition Wizard takes the standard pages order:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, etc

and divides it to groups of the size defined by the Group size parameter:

(1, 2, 3, 4), (5, 6, 7, 8), (9, 10, 11, 12), etc

In this example and on the screenshot the group size is 4, but it can be any number from 1 to the number of pages in the source document.

Then Imposition Wizard takes each group one by one and applies the rules defined by the second parameter Shuffle rules to each group. For instance if it takes the second group “5, 6, 7, 8” and the shuffle rules “1, 2, 3, 4”, here’s what it does:

  1. It takes the first number of the rules line — 1;
  2. As the first number in the rules was 1, it then takes the first item of the group — 5 and put it to the output list;
  3. It takes the second number of the rules line — 2;
  4. It then takes the second item of the group — 6 and put it to the output line;
  5. Imposition Wizard repeats the steps above, while there are numbers in the rules line;
  6. Once the numbers are over, it takes the new group and starts again.

For the example above, the rules line doesn’t change the order of pages as the group size was 4 and the rules line was “1, 2, 3, 4”, so each page is returned to its place. However, things change if we, say, revert the rules line: “4, 3, 2, 1”. This way the output list will be reverted group by group:

(4, 3, 2, 1), (8, 7, 6, 5), (12, 11, 10, 9), etc

Use this to reorder pages in a row or for the whole sheet.

Duplicating Pages With Shuffle

A more interesting example would be the page–duplicating one. Say we have a group size of 1 and the shuffle rule of “1 1”. Here is the input pages order:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc

Here it is divided into groups of size 1:

(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), etc

Here it is passed through the shuffle rule:

(1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3), (4, 4), (5, 5), (6, 6), (7, 7), (8, 8), (9, 9), etc

You see that all the pages are duplicated, because the rule line contains two similar items, so each page is taken twice.

Removing Pages With Shuffle

You can drop some pages absolutely the same way. Say we want to remove all the odd pages of the list:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc

Let’s set the group size to 2:

(1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6), (7, 8), (9, 10), etc

Now set the shuffle rules to just “2”. For each group Imposition Wizard will just take the second element, as defined by the rule. You’ll end up with a shortened list of pages:

(2), (4), (6), (8), (10), etc

You can combine these methods to reorder, duplicate and remove the pages the way you need.

More Shuffle Options

You can set the group size equal to the number of pages in the source document and define the flow you need for the whole file. It is quite time consuming, but can sometimes help you for not–that–big layouts like 8–up, 16–up or even 32–up if Imposition Wizard has no built–in imposition scheme you need.

You can flip the page by adding a ‘star’ symbol after its number in the shuffle rules line. For instance the group size of 2 and shuffle rules “1 2*” will flip every second page on the sheet.

You can leave the grid slot empty by using ‘X’ symbol instead of the page number. For instance if you replace shuffle rules “2” in the removing pages example above with “X 2”, you will get a half–empty sheet with only even pages and empty slots instead of the odd ones.

Shuffle Editor

If you find these rules a bit too complex, you can always use Shuffle Editor that lets you configure shuffle rules with your mouse. You just need to setup the group size first, then you can click Shuffle Editor button and reorder pages in a more convenient manner.

Duplex Printing Support

Shuffle layout is somewhat special and even if duplex printing is enabled, it still doesn’t match the pages on the back of the sheet to the front ones:

Duplex printing with shuffle layout in Imposition Wizard

There is a safety switch that prevents this behavior, as for shuffle mode it is more convenient to control everything manually. However, you can check the Keep fronts and backs together option at the Layout panel to place every second page right at the other side of the sheet from the first one:

Match front and back pages in shuffle layout in Imposition Wizard

This way Imposition Wizard still uses shuffle rules, but instead of placing the next page right after the previous one, it places it at the back side of the sheet.

Again, this is done exactly the same way as with N–Up layout, but the order of pages is not straight and is now controlled by the shuffle rules.

More Imposition Wizard Tutorials

Installation

Basics

Layouts

Imposition Parameters

Command Line