Flipbook is a Perl script I wrote that can be used to create anagram flipbooks. That is, it provides a way to create a physical animation of an anagram, wherein the letters of a phrase rearrange themselves to form another phrase.

You'll need Perl and LaTeX to use it, but only very basic Perl and LaTeX setups are needed, and you can probably get them for free (or, at least, very little cost, and they are both so darned useful - why don't you have them already?).

Here's how it works:

  1. Find or create an anagram you'd like to make a flipbook with (e.g., analytic number theory/a noticeably merry hunt).
  2. Run Flipbook.
  3. You'll be asked for the starting and ending phrases of your anagram.
  4. The script will match up letters, determining where each letter must go. However, if the letter appears more than once in the phrases, there is some choice, and you will be prompted to select where you would like the letter to go. For instance, with the example above, the first 'n' could move to either the third location (counting spaces) or the next to last space. Generally I think it looks best if letters are sent as far from their original positions as possible.
  5. You'll then be asked for the number of frames (i.e. pages) in the flipbook. The more pages, the smoother the animation will be. Twenty to thirty seems to work well.
  6. There is the option of having the frame number printed on each frame.
  7. There is the choice of having each frame on a separate page or all of them on as few pages as possible. When you are sure you have everything figured out, the latter choice saves a lot of paper. Having every frame on a separate page will allow you to view the animation before going to paper by paging through the DVI of the file.
  8. Finally, you can select the name of the output (LaTeX) file.
All you have to do then is LaTeX the file, print the resulting DVI, cut the frames from the paper, bind together somehow (stapling works), and you've got your very own anagram flipbook. The end result should look something like the animation below. (N.B. your result will be on paper).

flipbook animation

Download Flipbook (9k)

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