Command Workstation: Using a separate file for a common side

AC Prepress

Well-known member
I need to print 2400 unique sheets that all get the same common back side. Is there a way in Command Workstation to use a separate file for that back side so I don't have to have 2400 backs?
 

Wheate

Member
I would love to know if there's an easy way to do this too. Easiest for me right now is manual duplex.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
I know a quick and dirty way of doing it in Acrobat, though. Copy your backside PDF (1 page) into a folder 2,400 times so that you have 2,400 PDF's of the same image. Then combine them all into a single PDF and name it the same as the 2,400 unique page PDF, in a separate folder. Then extract the pages into separate documents, keeping them in their own folders. You will end up with 2,400 PDF's that are named the same, but are of course different pages. Copy the backside PDF's into your unique PDF folder - Windows will prompt you to rename them or not copy - choose rename. The renaming function will produce a set of 4,800 PDF's in the same folder, looking like unique 1, unique 1 (1), unique 2, unique 2 (1), unique 3, unique 3 (1), etc etc etc. If you combine all of these files you will get the file you want.

However, I am sure there is a way to write a function to insert backside page between every sheet. That may be more worthwhile to explore if this occurs more than a few times per year.

Jobmaster might be capable of helping you with this.
 

bill kahny

Well-known member
I read about a VDP way to map the variable 1 side job to a 2 sided original which is basically what you want I just can't get it to work in practice.
 

DYP

Well-known member
I read about a VDP way to map the variable 1 side job to a 2 sided original which is basically what you want I just can't get it to work in practice.
In VDP.

Make the Common your master. 1 blank page the other the common page. Like P1 blank and P2 Common.

If your Variable is 2400 pages then you would need to make the Varable P1 and the blank P2, P3 Variable P4 blank etc. 4800 page total 2400 variable 2400 blank. If the Variable is one page you need to make the Varable P1 and the blank P2.

I don't think it will be that big a deal to have the extra 2400 blank pages in the PDF. If it is do half at a time. Seems any other way would be pretty time consuming.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
Very easy. Make a file for your master with page 1 blank and common back as page 2. Create your master as usual in CW. Your variable file is all fronts. No need for a back page. In CW for your variable file go to VDP, select your master, check "Enable enhanced FreeForm" and then click "Define Mapping". Variable pages per record = 1. Total pages per record = 2. Click continue. Below in Mapping & Order: 1 = variable page 1, master page 1; 2 = no variable, master page 2. You are ready to roll.

Screenshot 2019-08-12 10.30.15.png
 

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Stickman42

Well-known member
How about printing 2400 copies of the back side first then re-running them through dropping on the variable fronts?
 

Stickman42

Well-known member
True, but why try refeeding sheets full of static when you can do it in one pass.
I run this type of project rarely. While the recommended procedures above work, they're a little cumbersome to enact IMHO. I've run my sheets through a second time every time without any static/feeding problems.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
I had this same question a few months back and found no solution. Had to make my merged data 2 sided and go through that way unfortunately.
 

bill kahny

Well-known member
Very easy. Make a file for your master with page 1 blank and common back as page 2. Create your master as usual in CW. Your variable file is all fronts. No need for a back page. In CW for your variable file go to VDP, select your master, check "Enable enhanced FreeForm" and then click "Define Mapping". Variable pages per record = 1. Total pages per record = 2. Click continue. Below in Mapping & Order: 1 = variable page 1, master page 1; 2 = no variable, master page 2. You are ready to roll.
I (unsuccessfully) tried this months ago, and will retry following these steps. once it works, Making these your default settings should make printing the files as easy as a right click.
 

AC Prepress

Well-known member
Very easy. Make a file for your master with page 1 blank and common back as page 2. Create your master as usual in CW. Your variable file is all fronts. No need for a back page. In CW for your variable file go to VDP, select your master, check "Enable enhanced FreeForm" and then click "Define Mapping". Variable pages per record = 1. Total pages per record = 2. Click continue. Below in Mapping & Order: 1 = variable page 1, master page 1; 2 = no variable, master page 2. You are ready to roll.
I got this to work. Thanks for the tip!
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
I merge 50k - 150k records, so I do everything possible to keep my merge stream small. I put as much of the base art on side 1 that I can. Even if there are a bunch of merge fields floating the text, I try to get any graphic elements that don't float on the master because they can really jam up the merge.
 

namelessentity

Well-known member
I know a quick and dirty way of doing it in Acrobat, though. Copy your backside PDF (1 page) into a folder 2,400 times so that you have 2,400 PDF's of the same image. Then combine them all into a single PDF and name it the same as the 2,400 unique page PDF, in a separate folder. Then extract the pages into separate documents, keeping them in their own folders. You will end up with 2,400 PDF's that are named the same, but are of course different pages. Copy the backside PDF's into your unique PDF folder - Windows will prompt you to rename them or not copy - choose rename. The renaming function will produce a set of 4,800 PDF's in the same folder, looking like unique 1, unique 1 (1), unique 2, unique 2 (1), unique 3, unique 3 (1), etc etc etc. If you combine all of these files you will get the file you want.

However, I am sure there is a way to write a function to insert backside page between every sheet. That may be more worthwhile to explore if this occurs more than a few times per year.

Jobmaster might be capable of helping you with this.
Holy crap that's a really difficult way to do an easy task.. Just make a static side and make it the same number of sheets as your VDP, then go to edit > collate and merge them.
 

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