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PDF booklet page imposition software
Our company offers the following page-imposition solutions:

PDF Snake. An Adobe Acrobat plug-in that lets you impose PDF files from within Acrobat. Two versions: one supports hot folders and the other does not. Available for Windows.
 more information > 

Quite Imposing. An Adobe Acrobat plug-in that lets you impose PDF files from within Acrobat. Available for Macintosh & Windows.
 more information > 

Quite Imposing Plus. A "professional" version of Quite Imposing (above), with some extra features: support for page numbers & Bates numbers, support for masking out (obscuring) text & graphics, more.
 more information > 

Quite Hot Imposing. Lets you do imposition automatically, on a server. Not a plug-in (does not rely on Adobe Acrobat). You can use hot folders, or you can write a program that invokes Quite Hot Imposing's command-line interface. Available for Macintosh and Windows.
 more information > 


Creating saddle-stitched booklets
is simple with the
"Quite Imposing" software.

Click here to get details,
or call us at 888-260-7316.
You can use
imposition software
to save on click fees!
Here's how it works:

If you do production
printing on a Xerox DocuTech
printer or similar
printer, you are probably
charged a particular
amount of money for
each impression that
is printed. These
charges are often
referred to as
"click fees."

You can save money
on click fees by using
imposition software to
lay out several copies
of the same pages
on large sheets.
Print on large paper
and then cut the
individual pages apart.

For example, if you are
8 1/2" x 11" documents,
you can print them two-up
on 11" x 17" paper.
This will reduce
your click fees by 50%,
because you'll be
cutting the number
of impressions in half.

Click here to learn about imposition software.
We offer a FREE consulting service to help you identify the best software for your technical requirements and budget.

Call us at 888-260-7316
to take advantage of this
free service.
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Citation Software Inc.
 Specialists in variable-data publishing since 1986

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QUESTION: What is imposition?

ANSWER: Imposition (also known as "page imposition") is the process of
  • modifying the position, orientation, and printing order of the individual pages in a document, and

  • grouping collections of individual pages together on larger sheets of paper or film
so that the pages are arranged properly for printing on a particular printing press or digital printer and for binding with a particular binding system.

In this discussion, we focus on the imposition tasks that are required when you are printing a book or booklet. Note, however, that imposition is often required when printing other types of documents (e.g., postcards, greeting cards, magazines, calendars, tickets).

The required arrangement of the pages is dictated by
  • the dimensions of the pages in the book

  • the number of pages in the book

  • the size of the sheets that will be printed on the press (if a printing press will be used) or on the printer (if a digital printer — such as a laser printer — will be used)

  • the type of binding to be used, if any.

To illustrate how imposition works, we give an example of one of the simplest and most common imposition tasks: creating a booklet.

What is a booklet?

A booklet is a small book that is formed by printing four individual pages on each sheet of paper (two pages on one side and two pages on the other side), stacking the printed sheets, stapling the sheets in the middle, and then folding them.

A booklet is also known as a "saddle-stitched booklet" or "saddle-stitched book."

For our example, we'll create a very small booklet. It will have a front cover, a back cover, and six pages inside. In other words, it will have eight pages, counting the front and back covers.

It will be made up of two sheets of paper. Four pages will be printed on each sheet: two pages on the front, and two pages on the back.

When it is finished, it will look like this:

We'll assume that this booklet will be printed on a laser printer that supports duplex printing. (The term "duplex printing" refers to the process of printing on both surfaces of a sheet of paper — as opposed to "simplex printing," which refers to the process of printing on only one surface.)

As you read through the example below, don't worry about the mechanics of how you would go about re-arranging the pages. Just concentrate on the concepts that are presented. After we've gone through the example, we'll explain how imposition is handled in real-life situations.


We start by creating the eight individual pages. To do this, we can use a word-processing application such as Microsoft Word or a page-layout application such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, or QuarkXPress.


We must re-arrange the pages so that there are two pages side by side on the front of each sheet and two pages side by side on the back of each sheet.

Notice that the pages are not in the normal order in the illustration above. That's because we've arranged them so that they'll be in the correct order in the finished booklet.

If you're having trouble visualizing this, take two sheets of paper, stack them, fold them in half, and label the left side and right side of the front and back of each sheet the same way that we've labeled the sheets in our illustration above. Then look at the front and back of each individual sheet. You'll see why we arranged the pages as shown here.


We stack one sheet on top of the other, making sure that the pages are in the correct order.


We staple the sheets together in the middle.


Our final task is fold the booklet in half. Our booklet is done!

How is imposition handled in real life?

Imposition can be done by hand. That is, you can use scissors and glue to paste two or more individual pages onto larger sheets of paper; then, to create a finished document, you can make copies of the pasted-up pages. Or, if you are working with film instead of paper, you can use special mechanical tools and materials to assemble individual pieces of film into a large sheet of film that can be used to make a plate for a printing press. Then, you use the plate to print the pages on paper.

These days, most printing companies and other businesses use imposition software to do imposition electronically, instead of doing it manually. Imposition software re-arranges the information inside an electronic file or a collection of electronic files containing a document. With imposition software, you don't need to use glue and mechanical tools.

When you do imposition electronically, your document is contained in PostScript files, PDF files, or perhaps other types of files. These are the files whose information is re-arranged electronically by your imposition software.

In addition to laying out pages on press sheets, most imposition software can do several other tasks, such as:
  • printing crop marks to indicate where press sheets should be cut
  • trimming pages down to size if they are too large
  • re-positioning pages (moving individual pages up, down, left, or right)
  • making the text and graphics on the pages larger or smaller
  • adding page numbers or replacing existing page numbers.
Imposition software can be useful even if you are not using large printing presses. For example, many companies use imposition software to create booklets on laser printers (like we did in our example above).

Imposition software

There is some very good imposition software available today at reasonable prices. Our company offers four imposition solutions: PDF Snake, Quite Imposing, Quite Imposing Plus, and Quite Hot Imposing. Click here to learn about these four products.

If you're not sure how to choose the best imposition software for your situation, we can help! Just contact us via email at, or call us at 888-260-7316. It costs nothing to discuss your ideas and requirements with us.

Let our Wizard help you find the right product!

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PDF based page imposition software