First you have a normal PDF with A4 pages. Something you printed from wikipedia but using ‘to pdf’ option. Now you want to print it at half size, well A5, but in order to use duplex and everything, pages have to be rotated and rearranged. On Linux command-line this is easy using ‘ghost-script’ tools.
convert your pdf to post-script:
$ pdf2ps input.pdf output.ps
the main fun is here:
$ pstops -pa4 "4:1R@0.7(0,1h)+2R@0.7(0,0.5h),0R@0.7(0,0.5h)+3R@0.7(0,1h)" mozilla.ps booklet.ps
convert resulting post-script back to pdf:
$ gs -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -sOutputFile=booklet.pdf -dAutoRotatePages=/None booklet.ps
Print the resulting file with duplex option with short-edge. You will end up with foldable pages that don’t go one into another. Fold them and stack them on top of each other and bind them with stapler or thread.
Had this lovely pdf (Music Marketing Handbook, 2007) and had difficulty reading it on screen and wanted to print it in a small (tiny?) broshure format. So, in Linux, I used this:
first convert PDF to postscript file
pdftops -nocrop -paper A4 -expand Source.pdf Source.ps
now the crazy command-line monster (this will take 8 pages in a block, scale them by 0.5, offset their position on a page and rotate four of them upside down):
pstops -d "8:4U@0.5(0.5w,1h)+3U@0.5(1w,1h)+firstname.lastname@example.org(0,0)+email@example.com(0.5w,0),2U@0.5(0.5w,1h)+5U@0.5(1w,1h)+firstname.lastname@example.org(0,0)+email@example.com(0.5w,0)" Source.ps MyBooklet.ps
convert postscript back to pdf, but make sure that GhostView doesn’t try to figure out the correct rotation!
ps2pdf -dAutoRotatePages=/None MyBooklet.ps MyBooklet_final.pdf
This process will create pages with four pages on each, which you can print double-sided. It is then very simple to fold each of A4 sheets two times and just cut the top two folds.