Author: Dinu Gherman <gherman@darwin.in-berlin.de>
Version: Version 0.4.2
Date: 2012-06-19
Copyright: GNU Public Licence v3 (GPLv3)


Pdfnup is a Python module and command-line tool for layouting multiple pages per sheet of a PDF document. Using it you can take a PDF document and create a new PDF document from it where each page contains a number of minimized pages from the original PDF file.

Right now pdfnup should be used on documents with all pages the same size, and half square page numbers per sheet work best on paper sizes of the ISO A series.

Basically, pdfnup wrapps pyPdf, a package written by Mathieu Fenniak, which does not provide tools like this for using the core functionality easily from the command-line or from a Python module. Pdfnup itself was much inspired from some code written by Henning von Bargen - thanks, Henning!

This release provides full support for file objects and StringIO objects for input as well as output documents and fixes a nasty buglet in the command-line invocation script.


  • save minimized pages of a given PDF document in a new PDF document
  • place n pages per sheet, with n being square or half square
  • customize layout order, both horizontally and vertically
  • turn rotated pages to make them all have the same format
  • allow patterns for output files
  • supports file-like objects for input and output documents
  • install a Python module named pdfnup.py
  • install a Python command-line script named pdfnup
  • provide a Unittest test suite


  • 2012-06-19 (0.4.2): Fixed a bug after ImmutableSet was removed in pyPdf 1.13.


You can use pdfnup as a Python module e.g. like in the following interactive Python session:

>>> from pdfnup import generateNup
>>> generateNup("file.pdf", 8, verbose=True)
written: file-8up.pdf
>>> generateNup("file.pdf", 8, dirs="LD", verbose=True)
written: file-8up.pdf
>>> f = open("file.pdf")
>>> generateNup(f, 8, outPathPatternOrFile="out-%(n)dup.pdf", verbose=True)
written: out-8up.pdf

In addition there is a script named pdfnup, which can be used more easily from the system command-line like this (you can see more examples when typing pdfnup -h on the command-line):

$ pdfnup -V file.pdf
written: file-4up.pdf
$ pdfnup -V -n 8 file.pdf
written: file-8up.pdf
$ pdfnup -V -n 8 -l LD file.pdf
written: file-8up.pdf
$ pdfnup -V -n 9 /path/file[12].pdf
written: /path/file1-9up.pdf
written: /path/file2-9up.pdf
$ pdfnup -V -n 8 -o "%(dirname)s/foo.pdf" /path/file.pdf
written: /path/foo.pdf


There are two ways to install pdfnup, depending on whether you have the easy_install command available on your system or not.

1. Using easy_install or pip

With the easy_install command on your system and a working internet connection you can install pdfnup with only one command in a terminal:

$ easy_install pdfnup

If the easy_install command is not available to you and you want to install it before installing pdfnup, you might want to go to the Easy Install homepage and follow the instructions there.

You can also install pdfnup using pip the usual way, if it is already installed:

$ pip install pdfnup

2. Manual installation

Alternatively, you can install the pdfnup tarball after downloading the file pdfnup-0.4.2.tar.gz and decompressing it with the following command:

$ tar xfz pdfnup-0.4.2.tar.gz

Then change into the newly created directory pdfnup and install pdfnup by running the following command:

$ python setup.py install

This will install a Python module file named pdfnup.py in the site-packages subfolder of your Python interpreter and a script tool named pdfnup in your bin directory, usually in /usr/local/bin.


Pdfnup depends on pyPdf which, if missing, will miraculously be installed together with pdfnup if you have a working internet connection during the installation procedure. If for whatever reason pyPdf cannot be installed, pdfnup should still install fine. In this case you'll get a warning when trying to run pdfnup.

Starting with version 0.3.1 pdfnup no longer needs the ReportLab toolkit to be installed, except for running the Python script genpdf.py generating the initial PDF files for the test suite (but even those are included in the distribution).


The pdfnup tarball distribution contains a Unittest test suite in the file test_pdfnup.py which can be run like shown in the following lines on the system command-line:

$ tar xfz pdfnup-0.4.2.tar.gz
$ cd pdfnup-0.4.2
$ python test_pdfnup.py
Ran 11 tests in 21.658s


Bug reports

Please report bugs and patches to Dinu Gherman <gherman@darwin.in-berlin.de>. Don't forget to include information about the operating system and Python versions being used.