mpage - print multiple pages per sheet on PostScript printer
mpage [-1248aAcEfHloOrRStuUvVxX] [-b papersize] [-B[num[lrtb]]*] [-C
[encoding]] [-da|p] [-D dateformat] [-F fontname] [-h header]
[-j first[-last][%interval]] [-J startpageno] [-L lines]
[-m[num[lrtb]]*] [-M[num[lrtb]]*] [-p[prprog]] [-P[printer]] [-s tab-
stop] [-W width] [-z printcmd] [-Z printcmd_args] [file...]]
mpage reads plain text files or PostScript documents and prints them on
a PostScript printer with the text reduced in size so that several
pages appear on one sheet of paper. This is useful for viewing large
printouts on a small amount of paper. It uses ISO 8859.1 to print
The following options are recognized (note that arguments to options
may be separated from the option by spaces, except for -B, -m, -M, -p
and -P): Also when mpage encounters -- as option it will stop parsing
arguments and the remaining arguments are interpreted as filenames.
-1 Print 1 normal page per sheet (included for symmetry).
-2 Print 2 normal pages per sheet.
-4 Print 4 normal pages per sheet (default).
-8 Print 8 normal pages per sheet.
-a Toggle layout of the pages on the sheet so that successively
numbered pages run down the sheet, as opposed to left to right.
(default updown) .
-A This option is deprecated, see -b. Prepare output for A4 sized
paper. For default see ’mpage -x’.
Prepare output for selected paper type. Papersize can be A3 for
European A3, A4 for European A4, Letter for US Letter or Legal
for Legal sized paper. For default see ’mpage -x’. To see the
list of currently available types, just give the ’mpage -bl’ or
’mpage -b?’ command (Note: mpage exits after finding such option
Setup a box around a particular part of your page. Specify text
box margins and line thickness. The default is 0 columns
(lines) for both left and right (top and bottom) margins and 0
line thickness. Specifying -B solely toggles printing of the
box. l, r, t or b set the left, right, top or bottom margin
respectively to <num> columns (lines). Not specifying any of
the sides, will set the line thickness when <num> is given. For
example -B1 sets the line thickness to 1. Sides with negative
margins will not print.
-c Toggle concatenation off pages from different files on single
sheets (default off).
Specify the character encoding file. The file should be in the
mpage library directory (/usr/share/mpage). Mpage has an inter-
nal default encoding based on Latin-1 or IBM codepage 850.
Depending on compile time option this encoding definition is on
or not. Not specifying an encodingfile will toggle the usage of
the internal encoding.
-da|p Force input to be taken as ascii (a) or postscript (p) text.
This way you can print your postscript code as text, or print
postscript code that mpage does not recognise. When using -dp,
make sure that the the postscript code contains %Page page sepa-
rators or else things will probably look odd.
Set the date format as in strftime(3) to be used in date/time
representations (e.g. in headers). (Note: to be useful you
probably need the -H option.)
-e Print 2 normal pages per sheet in duplex mode. Every first and
fourth page or on one side and every second and third on the
other side. This is more or less a combination of the -O and -E
option but then in one pass.
-E Print 2 normal pages per sheet. However, this option will print
every second and third page of every set of four pages. This
option will ignore -a and -l. See also the -O option. Using
these options double sided prints can be created without a
-f Toggles folding lines longer than page width (default off) .
Specify font. (default Courier). Check your printer for sup-
ported fonts. Note: this has almost nothing to do with the fonts
used for your X-windows/KDE/Gnome environment.
This is used only when the -p or -H switch is used and is passed
as the "-h header" option to pr(1) or as the header for -H.
-H Create header line for each logical page separated from page
text by a horizontal line. Unless -h is given, the header con-
sist of last file modification time, filename and page number,
all in bold and slightly larger font. This option only applies
to non-postscript files.
Indent text by indent characters.
Print just the selected sheets, specified by a number, starting
at 1. Here last defaults to the end of data, interval to 1.
Several -j options can be given (upto MAXJARGS, default 100) to
create a complex selection of pages. Thus -j1-10 selects the
first 10 sheets, while -j 1%2 prints just the odd-numbered
sheets and -j 2%2 prints just the even ones.
You can do double-sided printing, in two passes, as follows. If
you use 3-hole punched paper, put it in the printer such that
the holes will appear at the top of the page -- on the right as
you pull out the printer tray, in our Laser writer II NTX.
Print the odd-numbered sheets with
mpage ... -j 1%2 ...
Note the number of pages it reports. (Only half this many will
really be printed). When printing finishes, if mpage reported
an odd number of pages, remove the last one from the stack,
since there will be no even-numbered sheet to match it. Then
arrange the stack of paper for printing on the other side. (If
it’s punched, the holes will now be on the left.) On our II
NTX, the paper comes out blank-side up; replace it in the tray
still blank-side up but rotated 180 degrees. For other print-
ers, you figure it out. Now print the even-numbered sheets in
reverse order with
mpage ... -r -j 2%2 ...
hoping no one else reaches the printer before you do.
Set the start value of the sheet page count to startpageno
instead of 1.
-k When mpage finds a %%TRailer or %%PSTrailer in the postscript
input file it normally assumes this is the end of the postscript
file and stops reading the input file. But when the PS file
includes EPS files, %%Trailers might be anywhere. Using this
option ignores the %%TRailer and %%PSTRailer lines.
-l Toggle printing landscape or portrait mode. Landscape pages are
55 lines long by 132 characters wide by default. Portrait pages
are 66 lines long by 80 characters wide by default. (default
Adjust the page reduction parameters so that lines lines will
fit in the space of one page. This overrides the default values
normally supplied. (See -l.) If used in conjunction with -p
then this value is passed to the pr(1) as well. As a side
effect this changes the font size as well (as will the -W
option.) So while there is an option to change font family,
there is no explicit option to change font size!
Specify sheet margin. The default margin is 20 points. Only
specifying -m sets left margin to 40 points. l, r, t or b set
left, right, top or bottom margin respectively to <num> points.
Not specifying any of the sides will set all sides when <num> is
given. <num> defaults to 40 points. For example -m10 sets all
margins to 10 points. -ml50tb sets left margin to default 40
and top and bottom margin to 50 points. -m50l25bt30r set bottom
and top margin to 25, left margin to 50 and right margin to 30
points. Margins can have negative numbers. Very large values
have funny effects. This is left as an exercise to the user.
Specify logical page margins. For syntax, see -m option.
Defaults are 4 for -M solely, and 8 for <num>. Margins can be
negative. This way large white borders in your (postscript)
documents can be reduced. Very large values have funny effects.
This is left as an exercise to the user.
-o Toggle printing of outlines around each reduced page (default
-O Print 2 normal pages per sheet. However, this option will print
every first and fourth page of every set of four pages. This
option will ignore -a and -l. See also the -E option. Using
these options double sided prints can be created without a
Pipe input through prprog command (including specified options)
before printing (assumes the input is a text file). When no
command is specified, it defaults to pr(1).
Specify the printer to which the PostScript output will be sent
(e.g.lpr -Pprinter). Using -P with no printer specified will
send the PostScript to the default printer queue (e.g. lpr).
Using -P- will return output to stdout, useful in combination
with MPAGE environment variable. Without -P output will be send
to standard output.
-r Reverse printing. The last sheet is printed first. The way of
arranging reduced pages on the sheets doesn’t change.
-R Switch to left to right mode, starting first page on left bottom
corner. This might be useful for landscape postscript files.
(Note: using -l after -R undoes -R, and switches to normal land-
Set tabstop width (default 8 characters). Should by >= 2.
-S Accept non-square page reduction. By default, pages are shrunk
equally in X and Y, even if this wastes some space on the sheet.
With -S, reduced pages are larger but slightly distorted. (only
used when printing postscript files.)
-t Toggle printing on both sides of the paper. This will toggle
duplex mode of the printer. Use this option only if your
printer is capable of printing in duplex mode. (default off).
-T Toggle tumble of every second pages when printing in duplex
mode. Use this option only if your printer is capable of print-
ing in duplex mode and together with -t.
-u Toggle checking for UTF-8 input (not relevant for postscript
-U This option is deprecated, see -b. Prepare output for US Letter
sized paper. For default see ’mpage -x’.
-v Toggle printing a count of the number of sheets produced for
printing (default off.)
-V Print version information and exit.
Adjust the page reduction parameters so that a line with width
characters long will fit in the space of one page. This over-
rides the default values normally supplied. (See -l.) If used
in conjunction with -p then this value is passed to the s pr(1)
program as well. See also the -L option on font sizes.
-x Force usage display, which also shows current defaults.
Print header on the left and the page number on the right of
each physical page (sheet). If no header is given, the default
is the current filename (note influence of -c), the filename of
the first file on the page is used.
Specify command to use to send output to. Default is lpr (1)
for BSD style spooler, lp (1) for SYSV style spooler. You can
specify command line options, but note -Z. For example -zlp for
system V Unix.
Specify what option to use for the "-z printcommand" to specify
a printqueue. For example -zlp -Z-d for system V Unix. Default
is -P for BSD style spooler, -d for SYSV style spooler.
mpage examines the PRINTER (or LPDEST for SYSV style spooler) environ-
ment variable to override its default printer.
The MPAGE_LIB environment variable can be used to control where the
character encoding files (-C) can be found.
mpage also examines the MPAGE environment variable for default option
settings. Any option or combination of options can be specified in the
MPAGE environment variable. For example, if MPAGE is set to the
it would (in the absence of other command line arguments) print 2 pages
per sheet, 60 lines per page, with outlines, on the printer named qms
(overriding the PRINTER/LPDEST environment variable, if it exists.) In
the environment variable, white space is used as an option delimiter,
and no quoting is recognized.
Any command line options will override both the PRINTER and MPAGE envi-
Suffers under the burden of far too many switches. (But you wanted the
NULL characters in a postscript input file will cause mpage to crash!
Many others, we’re sure.
Mpage is year 2000 compliant, as long as the underlying operating sys-
Version 2.5.4, Released may 2004.
Marcel Mol <email@example.com> (current maintainer).
Mark P. Hahn (Original author)
Man(1) output converted with