Jan 14 2007

PagePacker 1.1: A4, AppleScriptable, little fixes

When I released PagePacker a week ago, I thought it might be handy for a few people. (See the original post if you don’t know what I am talking about) Now that thousands of people (literally) have downloaded it and given me feedback, I’m quickly getting out a new version with:

  • Support for A4 paper (see the Preferences panel)
  • AppleScriptability (with a lot of help from Matt Neuburg)
  • You can now move, copy, and clear pages after you drop them
  • The catalog appears larger
  • You can use the up/down arrows to move through the catalog

I’m interested in how people are using PagePacker. If you have created a clever PDF for use in PagePacker or if you create an AppleScript that does something cool with PagePacker, I’d love to see it.

Download PagePacker 1.1


  1. Daniel Jalkut

    Nice turnaround! Big kudos on all the changes, especially the scripting support. I like your idea of extremely verbose descriptions in the AppleScript dictionary. Never thought of doing that before, but it makes perfect sense. Especially since AppleScript is such a learn-by-example language.

  2. sambo

    Nice work. I liked the original version, and expected an update that was essentially the same thing in A4 format, but this is fantastic.


  3. djp72

    AWESOME!! i just saw amber macarthur on command N give you guys a shout out. Brilliant little app. real nice!
    my only drama is i keep getting ! exclamation ! marks ! inbetween ! each ! word ! whn i print it out…?

  4. Administrator

    There is an odd bug: In the pages from DIY Planner, the space character is replaced with an exclamation mark in the printout. I’ve asked Apple Developer Technical Support to take a look at the problem.

    Just ignore the exclamation marks for now. I think they only appear in the DIY pages.

  5. Douglas Johnston

    I’m the designer of the D*I*Y Planner forms in question, and I’m as baffled as anyone by the exclamation marks. I’ve printed these forms thousands of times “natively” via Acrobat (and so have thousands of our site members) and have never seen an errant mark.

    However, this is doubly confusing because the cover page (using the same font) does not exhibit that problem. Does anyone have any ideas?

    all my best,

  6. DanM

    I learned about your app from CommandN. I’ve used PocketMod a few times, but your app makes it a lot more convenient.


  7. DanM

    I have the exclamation point problem as well. In ASCII a space is 0×20 while an exclamation point is 0×21. I don’t know anything about PDF but some font indexing looks to be off by one.

  8. Axel Rauschmayer

    Thanks for this program. You should create a dedicated web page for it (that refers to the folding tutorial and DIY Planner like your first blog entry on PagePacker)!

  9. Mike Warren

    Nicely done and practical application. As an often frustrated AppleScripter and a Hillegass fan since buying his cocoa book many years ago, I had to see what your AppleScript dictionary looked like. I wasn’t disappointed. You included comments and examples showing how to use the script features — practically *unheard-of* — thanks!

  10. Eike

    A big thanks for the A4 version, it’s great!

  11. Corby Kissler

    Hey Aaron – Nice application – very slick – There is a whole lot of features I like about this – just found found one little bug – maybe it is, not sure, but pages 5 and 6 print out a little smaller than the rest. Is this by design?

  12. Administrator

    Regarding the exclamation points: Apple is telling me that this is probably a bug in Mac Os X 10.4, and it has been fixed in 10.5.

    Regarding the fact that pages 5 and 6 are smaller than the rest: This is by design. Your printer is telling PagePacker that it can’t draw near the bottom of the page. So pages 5 and 6 are shrunk so that they don’t get cut off.

    My printer (an HP 1320) actually lies about its imageable rectangle — it can draw much closer to the edge of the page than it claims. Thus, pages 5 and 6 are smaller than they really have to be.

    Regarding any thing nice in the AppleScript dictionary: That was the brilliance of Matt Neuburg.

  13. J Stricklin

    I love the idea and have used pocketmods for a while now, so I love the app. Only one problem, none of my apps print to A5. In fact even if I put it in manually in the programs that will allow that it tells me that the paper size is to small. I really love the idea of making my own pocketmods based on the info that I need with me throughout the day but it is useless until I can get it to work. I realize that I may be doing something completely wrong or am missing the obvious fix.

  14. damon

    re: Pages 5 and six

    I’ve got an HP 5100, and all I have to do to get 5 & 6 to print full size is set the printer and paper size under Page Setup before printing.


  15. Nicolas

    cool little app! Compliments!
    BTW: it is easy to print on A3 for larger items! Just go into page setup and choose A3 and change scaling to 141% (which is double A4) and that is it! Well, you need an A3 printer! ;-)

    cheers Nicolas

  16. Nicolas

    sorry guys… My bad… does not work with the 141% enlargement :-(
    Maybe a next version will have this option….

  17. Phill

    This is genius! Really baffled by why I get exclamation points ! where there should be spaces though.

    A3 printing would be fan-bloody-tastic!

  18. Lee

    I was looking through the help file to figure out how to use this, and it instructs to print iCal calendars to A5 paper… and though I can see in the screenshot that it’s possible, I don’t have “A5″ as an option in my print dialog. How do I enable printing to A5 paper?

  19. Brett

    Great application – I really like this. But I would like to be able to type into some of the templates on-the-fly (from within PagePacker) as well – particularly the ToDo list! Is this sort of thing a possibility in a future version?

  20. Bob

    I am a high school physics teacher and I am planning to post an 8 page summary of each chapter’s notes (equations etc.) as a “ready to cut-and-fold” pdf on my class website. I’ll take the pages from my Keynote presentations and edit them down to the 8 most important pages. I think my students will like having all of the information in a little “book” that they can then use as a bookmark in their real textbook.

    This is an awesome program / idea. All the more so for its simplicity!


  21. Tibor

    This is great, i love it. Thanks!

    One question: No matter what template I choose (Weekly, To Do list, etc.), they never use the full space of the little pages when printed out. As I’m from Germany, I use the A4 setting and paper.

    Any workarounds?


  22. Nelson

    Would love to see an option to make it a 4 page booklet instead of 8.. Pages print out a little too small for my needs as an 8 page book.. Would a 4 page (ie 2x the page size) be on the cards?

    Otherwise an excellent app – great work.

  23. Jim Harrison

    As to uses of PagePacker, this is obvious, but….
    Page 1: A notes page from the templates, or a 1 page PDF from a word processor or drawing program with personalization and space for notes.
    Pages 2-7: 6 work days of iCal, printed to PDF, one day per page
    Page 8: Departmental phone directory, distributed to us as Excel, printed as a one-page PDF.
    Print a new one every day or two, file the old ones, with notes, chronologically.
    Now I just need an applescript to manage the PDF generation for the next 6 days in iCal.

  24. flight16

    Absolutely amazing. Special thanks for the AppleScript support. For me, it changed PagePacker from something almost usable to (almost) perfect.

    I’m working on scripts to
    1. Save iCal calendars and tasks to a PDF and add it to PagePacker.
    2. Take the most recent words I added to my word list (for studying a foreign language), save as a pdf, and add to PagePacker.
    3. Add a daily/weekly Bible passage and other fun daily .rss things.

    Future suggestions:
    Thumbnails for PDFs, for easier browsing. A search box would be nice too.
    Arbitrary paper sizes.
    Would Leopard’s new grid control be a good match for Packer?

  25. Wilm

    like Tibor I seam to have a problem when using the A4 setting. Some of the pages in the booklet are scaled too much, aka they are smaller than some of the other resized pages in the booklet (can be easily spotten when using a grey page for all pages).

  26. Michael Cohen

    For folks who like bigger print, a useful trick in iCal is to use the “screen” paper type. With the list version of the calendar this is considerably more readable than printing with the “big” font alone. A second trick is to set the iCal preferences for 5 work days in the week view. Printing this, again on “screen” paper, gives a more readable version than the 7 day view.

    While I’m here, I’ll say, as have so many others, I think the app is quite nifty. It solves for me an important problem of being able to easily carry a copy of a current calendar view while managing my time from a task list – in my case “remember the milk”.

  27. Administrator

    If you download and install the app again, you will get a version that will not expire. I’m about to release the source of a new build that is localized for Japanese. Give me a couple of days.

  28. Catherine Hicks

    Is there a way to add your own customizable mods to it? I use pocketmods a lot but have created a lot of my own mods and download a few more.I love your interface and would love to be able to add them to it because it would make it a lot easier.

    Any ideas or tips for that?

  29. AKMA

    The premise is stunning, but all the templates result in type and lines that are too small for comfortable reading (for my older eyes). That’s OK, I’m building my own, but someone might want to consider designing less information-rich, more readable templates.

  30. Jeannie

    Great program. Is there a way to change margin settings? My computer puts a 1inch margin at the bottom of the page. That makes those two little pages get reduced in size. Other than that, no problems.

  31. Deborah

    Did you ever release “the source of a new build that is localized for Japanese” that you mentioned on June 16. Where would I find that? I would like to see the source code.

  32. Cheryl

    Thanks SOOOOO much! Yes, the DIY pages are waaaay too tiny but I’ve made my own pages using Word and it’s working just great! I’d like to bake you some cookies.

  33. Trish

    Ok, just found this cool app and it seems to be just what I have been looking for! However, a basic question: How do I type in my to do lists on your great catalog of pages? Can’t do it before I move them, or after. Don’t want to use my crummy handwriting. Thanks

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