Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pocketmod evolved, my contribution

In my last post I talked briefly about a cool thing called PocketMod. The thing is, I hate waste. If you go through the process and make a pocketmod booklet, then you will realize that you are only utilizing half of the paper, with an entire side going unprinted and wasted. I wanted more from my pocketmods, so I went looking around for some ideas.

I stumbled on this interesting "instructable", where someone has constructed a notebook of 16 lined pages by printing an image of lines on both sides of one piece of paper. You then go through a simple folding process, ending with two staples and two very simple cuts. Try it! It's easy, fun, and useful! Who needs to buy mini notebooks for those great ideas you have on the run when you can make your own in a minute.

Of course, I still wasn't satisfied. We now have a process for making a 16 page booklet (or 32+ if you nest them together!), but it only has lined paper. I want RPG rule-booklets! I want Mythic tables and charts! I want plot/world/adventure generators! All of that in my pocket wherever I go! (okay, maybe not everywhere...) So, I made it better.

Through a long and painstaking process of applied logic (whatever that means), I have constructed a MS Word 2010 template to produce a 16-page "booklet" of arbitrary content. Once you get all of your 16 pages formatted perfectly, and you have printed out your new booklet on the paper in duplex (following your printers instructions for manual or auto duplex; it can be done with any printer!), you follow the same process as in the instructable above, with two caveats.

First, you should trim the excess paper from the margins before you start to fold, including the outside lines if you want (really, this is true of pocketmods in general). Second, when starting the folding process, make sure that you have the paper laying flat with "page 6" and "page 3" cells facing up and closest to you (they are the topmost cells in the template). Then you fold that end of the paper over to the other side (away from you), and continue as normal in the instructable. You should end up with a perfect 16 page booklet.

You can download the template here. (Depending on your printers minimum margins, you may have to adjust the template slightly. Because of that, and the formatting of the content for each cell of the template, you should have a decent grasp of Word if you don't want to pull your hair out.) When playing with the template, you should do some test prints at low resolution to make sure you can actually read what you are putting on these pages.

Comments, ideas, questions? Let me know!

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