3 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2016 11:32 AM by jl2000

    How do I set up tabbed pages to print correctly?

    jl2000 Level 1

      Hi -

      The most complex pdf I've ever encountered (and the most difficult search I've ever done on this forum) contains TABS.  By tabs I don't mean window tabs, tab indexes, tab indents, tabs on preference setting dialogs, menu tabs or browser tabs.


      The tabs I am asking about are those labeled "flap" found protruding along the right edge of a printed document to facilitate locating specific sections within the printed document.  Text is printed on tabs rotated 90 degrees.  The paper on which tabs are printed is usually a heavier stock and, by necessity, is WIDER THAN TYPICAL 8.5" - so that the tab juts out of the right edge of the printed document.  The rotated text (the tab caption) must be printed beyond the 8.5" width in order to be visible on the tab when the book is bound. 


      I hope I haven't insulted anyone with my description but I felt it necessary because "tabs" yields so many irrelevant search results.  Now to my situation and question.


      The PDF I'm wrestling with has 300 total pages and 12 of these are tabs - to be printed on tab stock.  The tab caption is already rotated correctly and positioned on the page APPROXIMATELY where the tab should be - except for one key problem.  The problem is that the widths of the PDF pages that will be tabs are 8.5" wide on the screen and the tab stock to be printed on is 9" wide.  The question is how do I get the caption to print beyond that 8.5" wide page?


      I'm using a Canon varioPrint 135.  It's a pretty hefty production machine with trays for many different sized media.  So I put the plain paper in tray 1 and the tabbed stock in tray 2.  The outcome is that the tabbed stock is inserted where it should be among the plain pages but the tab caption is not printed in position on the tab but about .35" to the left.  In other words - the printer has correctly interpreted that the width of the PDF's page is 8.5" and printed within that width even though it was instructed to use, and correctly inserted, a paper stock that is 9" wide. 


      As I see it - the solution is to widen those tab pages in the PDF document so that the printer sees a 9" width and prints the tab caption accordingly on the 9" media.  Is this a correct assessment?


      What Acrobat tool, feature, software, plug-in, or adjustment can I use to change the width of specific pages within a PDF?  Is this even possible to do with Acrobat?


      Thank you in advance for your input.



        • 1. Re: How do I set up tabbed pages to print correctly?
          Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Josh, this should be pretty easy to do - however, because of a bug in Acrobat, it's a two step process:


          Open up the document in Acrobat, and bring up the the "Set Page Boxes" tool (either via Tools>Organize Pages>Set Page Boxes, or by right-clicking on a page in the "Page Thumbnails" pane and selecting to "Crop Pages"). Then select to change the page size by using a custom size. Make sure that you select to "Center" the old page on the new, larger page, and specify 9.5"x11" (yes, that's too big, and we will correct that in the next step):



          Now apply this change to your tab page and bring up the "Set Page Boxes" tool again. This time, we change the crop box so that only the 9x11" page - with the tab text in the correct position - shows:


          To get the correct page size, we have to remove 0.5" from the right edge.


          Again, apply the settings, and you should have a correctly formatted and sized tab page.


          The bug in Acrobat is that you cannot specify a custom Xoffset in the first step. This would allow us to just resize the page to 9x11" and offset by 0.5" and be done, but that moves the page content completely outside of the crop rectangle, and you end up with a blank page.


          I would extract all tab pages to a separate document and then perform these two steps on all pages in that temporary document, and then replace the existing tab pages with the corresponding pages from that temporary document.

          • 2. Re: How do I set up tabbed pages to print correctly?
            Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

            I forgot to mention this in my first reply: You can of course also create an Action (or a custom command - see here for more information: Create Custom Commands in Adobe Acrobat DC Pro) to perform both steps with just one mouse click. If you have to do this task on a regular basis, that might be the way to streamline your workflow. 

            • 3. Re: How do I set up tabbed pages to print correctly?
              jl2000 Level 1

              khkremer - I think this might do the trick!  I can't get my amended document to the printer just yet but I'm going to make the changes as you profess and mark your answer as THE answer.  Thanks for this!