Cheap Impostor

I have been very busy with family over the holiday break–but I purposely put our first concert just after the holidays (January 13th this year) to avoid the “clog” of holiday conflicts and to give my students a few more days to live with their music (this approach isn't always successful). As a result, one of the things I have been doing is preparing our printed concert program.

One of the best tools I have found–for Mac (sorry, Windows users) is an app called “Cheap Impostor.” You can find it at This app takes full page PDFs and converts them to booklets of various sizes. It automatically formats your program into a booklet, placing pages where they belong based on the order of your original document. Therefore, even though you might have four pages per “finished” page, all the pages go where they are supposed to be in a booklet. Most of my programs end up with eight or more pages (by the time you add class lists), so this app has been a problem solver.

I like making programs that are the size of a page of paper folded in half (5.5″ x 8.5″), and Cheap Impostor does this. I have also used Cheap Impostor to make master copies of documents where the final program is a 17″x11″ page folded in half.

The massive benefit is that you don't have to mess with columns to create your program (although I do use tables to make my class lists), and when the PDF is converted to a booklet (which can be printed or generated as a PDF), you have great control (if you pay the $35) to adjust the location of the orginal PDF on the page, gutters, and even the zoom level of the orginal PDF.

I can't imagine why anyone that makes a multi-page program wouldn't want to use this program (this is a Mac App, only avaialble online–not the Mac App Store), from music groups to churches.

That's my tip for today–one that is worth noting. At some point, I will also post a demonstration of how I make tabs for my concert programs (having a dotted line between the title and the composer). As far as I can tell, Pages on iOS is not yet able to do this, so my program work is all done on Mac.


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