[Libreoffice-ux-advise] PDF export default to export inserted blank pages ?

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Tue Sep 6 23:01:27 PDT 2011

Hi Michael,

since nobody replied so far, this is my take ...

Am Montag, den 05.09.2011, 17:27 +0100 schrieb Michael Meeks:
> Hi guys,
> 	Thoughts on turning this on:
> 	https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=31606#c18
> 	in order to get this bug off our 'most annoying' list much
> appreciated :-)

This won't solve the underlying problem and will create a "most
annoying" item for the next list - empty pages have been deactivated
some years ago, since so many people complained about blank pages when
viewing PDF documents on screen.

Simply, the page numbering (and selection) is something very fundamental
and needs to be considered in all the places. Because:
      * Document editing has a set of pages that might have different
        page numbers (shifted, other format)
      * Printing provides a physical output of the document and needs to
        respect empty pages (for a selection of duplex capable printers)
      * PDF Export is usually used to provide on-screen viewing of a
        document (empty pages are undesired)

So these are different use cases. For example, Word (at least ... 2003)
tries to interpret the shown page numbers used on the pages (e.g. real
page count is 9, shown page count is III) in the printing dialog. But,
for certain page ranges it is impossible to set any useful page range
for printing - a nightmare.

Back to our problem - the issue is known, but I think the current (plain
simple) page count will work best. The key is to provide the user enough
clues to interpret potential issues.


The new printing dialog was (also) created to make printing selection
more visual, so that people could check the output in advance. So the
left side shows the printed pages and do not refer to the document page
numbers (addressing Rainer's comment #14).

But, to let people "check" their output during entering document page
numbers, I once proposed "Bug 106835 - [CWS printerpullpages] Use print
preview when manually entering pages:

One thing I've hoped for and that's still missing is to explain common
issues ... like the existence of empty pages. An extensive proposal is
available, the specific information message is here (scroll a bit to see
some pictures):


It had been planned to use the same dialog for both PDF export and
printing. Having a preview (and the information bar) helps at least to
understand what pages will get into that PDF - and it improves
consistency with printing.


A generic approach to solve the given issues is to introduce some kind
of page thumbnail view like in PDF viewers or Impress (proposed numerous
times). There, users could select the pages according to the document
page count and simply "Print / Export the selection". Then, the print
numbers selection issue is automatically solved for both PDF export or

One thing that's also missing to teach people how a word processor works
is to somehow visualize those empty pages. Today, no way of knowing
about these pages (in the print view) - that causes some of the
surprise described in the original issue. Still, we need a better "print
view" and a "draft view".

Finally, what to do? Keep the current setting and kindly ask developers
to pick the most promising task of the list above ... I'm happy to help.


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