Frank Ridderbusch

About things, that are of interest to me (in English and in German).

Inkscape keyboard and mouse reference as a booklet

I’ve used Inkscape on a couple of occasions. Inkscape is such a powerful program, but I think, it’s it’s not one of the easiest to use. Somehow, each time I’m using Inkscape I’m again struggling with the same basic concepts. I can’t really say, how things would need to be changed, to make it really more simple.

Anyway Inkscape sports such a plethora of keyboard and mouse functions, that I thought, it would be probably very useful to have a small booklet in paper form beside your keyboard.

Therefore I basically copied the Inkscape keyboard and mouse reference into OpenOffice and created this OpenOffice file, designed to be printed on A4 paper. The actual shuffling of the pages to print the file as booklet is not done within OpenOffice, but by transforming PostScript files using the psutils. I guess pretty much every Linux distribution should have them on board.

To actually create the booklet I’ve saved the OpenOffice source into this PDF file with OpenOffice’s “Export to PDF” function. Then, I used evince from the Gnome Desktop Environment to create a file randomly called by printing to a PostScript file ( The final booklet file is created by executing the following commands:

psbook -s16
pstops '2:0L@.7(21cm,0)+1L@.7(21cm,14.85cm)'

The psbook reorders the pages in such a way, that once printed double sided in landscape format, the resulting stack of pages can simply be folded in the middle. The pstops command then rotates, scales and positions each A4 page, so that two pages are printed on each side of a piece of paper. ps2pdf then creates a new PDF file (tt.pdf).

At home I’m using a Canon Pixma ip4000 printer. For this booklet I don’t use the printers ability to print double sided, since front and back page then have a slight offset. I use evince again to first print the odd numbered paged, re-feed the printed pages as they are stacked back into the feeder and print the back sides with the even pages. Now you should have a booklet, that you can simply fold in the middle. This is the resulting PDF file the above three command executions as an example.

You might need to fiddle a bit with the “0” and “14.85cm” parameters for the pstops command, so that the front and the back of a page properly align.