You are on page 1of 14

The Free and Easy Way to Make a Multi-Page Comic Book Preview and Post it in Your WordPress Articles.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contents

1. Required software
2. Using OpenOffice.org to create a multi-page comic book preview document 3. Using OpenOffice.org to export a multi-page comic book preview document into PDF format 4. Using PDFTK Builder to assemble and disassemble PDF files 5. Using pdf2jpg.net to convert PDF files to JPEGs 6. Using Scribd to host your PDF files 7. Embedding your Scribd-hosted PDF file in WordPress ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Required software: This tutorial is written with Windows 7 users in mind, but the tools I list here are also available for Mac OS X and Linux (fully supported packages of all software listed here are available for recent versions of Ubuntu and Debian, partial or undocumented support is available for other Linux distributions).

OpenOffice.org A PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat or Foxit Reader (I recommend the latter) PDFTK Builder
Note that extensions exist for Microsoft Office that allow it to export Word files to PDF, but since we're talking about a no-cost solution, I'm sticking with OpenOffice.org for this tutorial.

2. Using OpenOffice.org to create a multi-page comic book preview document: When publishers send us preview pages for their comics, it's often sufficient to just post the images, particularly if there are only five or six images. If you want to post more than, say, fifteen pages, though, it might be more convenient for you and our readers to have them collated into a single PDF document. The easiest way to make a multi-page comic book from the JPEG files that are sent our way is to just insert the images directly into an OpenOffice.org Writer file. To do this, just open OpenOffice.org Writer: Booting up the program should automatically generate a new "Untitled 1" file for you to work with. To start inserting the images, just go to Insert, select Picture from the drop-down menu, and then choose From File...

Navigate to the folder where the images you want to insert into your document are and select the first page you want to insert. For this tutorial's example, let's go with the images Oni Press sent us for their Avalon Chronicles Vol. 1 trade paperback:

With the image selected and inserted onto the page, it's now time to re-size it and ensure that it fits on your document page. A standard American comic book is roughly 173 mm x 26 mm (give or take a millimeter or three), and should fit within a letter- or A4-sized document page (if you don't want any whitespace and want the image to extend all the way to the page edge, you can customize the page format and give it the exact dimensions of the comic page instead of the standard letter or A4 dimensions). To change the image's size, just right-click on it: a menu should appear and you can then proceed to select Picture... from the menu choices

Once inside the Picture dialogue box, make sure that the Keep ratio box is checked and the Relative boxes are unchecked in the Size sub-dialogue. That way, if you make a change to either the height or the width of the image, it will retain its proportions and won't end up getting stretched, squashed, or cut. Also ensure that under the Position sub-dialogue, the image is set to "Center" in both the Horizontal and Vertical categories and that it is anchored To paragraph as shown in the image below:

You have now made your first PDF comic book preview page!

To go to the next page, just place your cursor after the image and keep hitting the space bar until you go to the next page or if there's still space under the image, just park your cursor there and insert a page break: Click on Insert, select Manual Break...

and choose Page Break:

Keep repeating these steps until you've inserted all the images you want into your document. It's always a good idea to save your work as you go along even as you work your way towards a final save state. While you can save your document as a Word document, the best format for our purposes is OpenOffice.org's native OpenDocument (.odt) format.

3. Using OpenOffice.org to export a multi-page comic book preview document into PDF format: Any document you make or open in OpenOffice.orgwhether it's a text document, a spreadsheet, a drawing, a PowerPoint-style presentation, or a database documentcan be exported into PDF format (this is part of the reason why OpenOffice.org is fast becoming standard office software the world over... did I mention it and its source code are absolutely free?). Just create or open the file you want to export to PDF with OpenOffice.org (OpenOffice.org can output, open, and save just about any type of business productivity-type file, even ones used by Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork), click on File, and then select Export as PDF... from the drop-down menu as shown in the image below:

You will be presented with an array of options in exporting your document to PDF. Sometimes, the default settings will be
good enough. Depending on the quality of the inserted images, you might need to experiment with the PDF Options. But be especially mindful of file size. If your final PDF's size clocks in at over 15 Mb, you might need to compress the images. For the Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1: The Night Things 32-page preview I posted here, I went with the following settings (the resulting PDF file was a little over 12 Mb in size):

There will be an element of trial-and-error in finding the right balance between file size and readability. In my experience, using JPEG compression while keeping image resolution at a fixed minimum of 150 DPI results in more readable PDFs with smaller file-sizes as opposed to reducing image resolution and not using compression. Just keep checking the exported PDF's image quality with your PDF reader and tweak the compression settings until you hit the sweet spot.

4. Using PDFTK Builder to disassemble/assemble PDF files: Sometimes, a publisher will send you a PDF review copy of the comic book, graphic novel, or trade paperback, but they don't provide preview images (even though they've cleared you to post up to five or six preview pages with the review article) and their site doesn't have any preview images available. You can do screencaps from your PDF reader, but depending on how many preview pages you want to extract from the review copy, that could take a long, long time. A free program called PDFTK Builder automates a lot of the work necessary. Separating a multi-page PDF into its individual pages with PDFTK Builder is very easyjust boot it up, select the Split tab, navigate to the source PDF file you want disassembled, and hit the Save button.

The individual, sequentially numbered pages will appear in the same folder as the source PDF file (along with the source PDF which, of course, will not be affected by the splitting process):

You can also use PDFTK Builder to assemble multi-page PDF files from individual PDF files (either single page PDFs or multipage PDFs). The process is similar to the splitting process, except you use the Collate tab

Use the Add button to select the PDF files you want to assemble together into a larger, multi-page PDF document. Once you've added all the files you want collated, just hit the Save As button, make up an easy-to-remember filename for your collated PDF, and you're good to go.

5. Using pdf2jpg.net to convert PDF files to JPEGs: So you've successfully split the multi-page review PDF into its component pages. Now you want to use some of those pages in your article. To do that, those individual PDFs must be converted to JPEGs. Go to pdf2jpg.net, which offers a free service to convert small PDFs to JPEGs (don't sign up for the e-mail notification service). 6. Using Scribd to host your PDF files: You'll need a way to host those multi-page PDF files you spent all that time making. Sure, you can upload them directly to our servers, but it doesn't look snazzy. If you already have a Facebook account, you can use it to log in to Scribd or you'll have to sign up and register the old-fashioned way. Once you've logged in, you can upload PDFs to Scribd. 7. Embedding your Scribd-hosted PDF file in WordPress: When you look at your uploaded PDF in Scribd, you will have the option to either embed it in your site or copy the link (the paired bracket icon and the chain-link icon, respectively, in the screencap below)

What you want to do is click on the copy link icon (the chain-link one) and then copy the link that says "Link to full screen":

Once you've copied the link, all you have to do is to put the URL you copied between the standard WordPress embed tags to have the snazzy Scribd document reader appear in your article. Typing the following in your Edit Post text box (note the embed tags)

Will get you this

So there's your tutorial guys. If you need more detailed instructions, don't hesitate to let me know.