Print a Fixed Layout File
I know. Why would you want to print a digital file? And yet its one of the first questions you might hear. And it makes sense: editors, proofreaders, and copy editors can all benefit from a print edition so they can mark up the document with changes.
So here’s a simple way to generate a PDF using a great app called Paparazzi. It works best for Fixed Layout files, but it could work on the right reflowable ePub as well.
1. Download Paparazzi
Paparazzi is a great little app that can create images from HTML files. You can download Papparazzi here.
2. Unzip your epub file
I’m going to assume you have your ePub file zipped. In order to generate your PDF you’ll need to unzip the file.
If you don’t have a method for unzipping ePubs already, open a window in terminal and type the following
unzip path/to/epub/file/file.epub -d path/to/epub/folder
(If you’re not comfortable with Terminal, type “unzip”, then drag the epub into the terminal window, then type space “-d” space and then enter a folder path [or cut and paster the path but remove the “.epub”])
3. Alter your settings for Paparazzi
You’ll need to make a couple changes to your settings to make creating the PDF easier.
Go to Paparazzi’s preferences, then click on the Batch tab.
Under “Save images to:” select the folder you want the pdf pages saved to (Paparazzi will make an individual PDF for each page. We’ll combine them in another step.)
Make sure “Save images as:” is set to PDF. Close out the Paparazi Preferences Window.
4. Drag your HTML files into Paparazzi’s Batch Upload
Click Window, then Batch Capture.
Drag the folder that contains your HTML Files into the Batch Window. It’s important to drag the folder only one level above the HTML files into the window otherwise Paparazzi will not add the files to its Batch Process.
Press the play button in the top right corner and the files will be processed. (If it’s a large book, it can take a while.)
5. Combine files into one PDF
I use Acrobat Pro to combine my file. Choose File > Create > Combine Files into Single PDF…
In the upper left hand corner, click on the menu and choose “Add Folders…” Select the Folder you used in Paparazzi.
You shouldn’t have to re-arrange any files, but you should go through and make sure everything looks good.
Press “Combine Files” and wait a little while. Save the resulting PDF.
6. Print the PDF
You’re all set!