# Paperback

Gem Version Inline Docs

Paperback is a library that facilitates the creation of paper offline backups of small amounts of important data, such as encryption keys.

It is designed to be used for long-term paper storage. Arbitrary data to be backed up is encoded using QR codes, sixword English text, and Base64.

Nothing else approaches the durability and inexpensiveness of paper. This library is designed to facilitate the restoration process, which would be tedious and error-prone when using human typists or even OCR.

The QR code is easily machine readible, the sixword text is easiest to transcribe for humans, and the Base64 serves as a fallback for broadest compatibility.

By default, the backup data is GPG-encrypted with a symmetric passphrase to avoid exposing data to the printer (or scanner, assuming you cover the passphrase when scanning).

The printed document does contain the SHA256 digest of the original content for error correction, which is not a problem for random data like keys. But if you are backing up low-entropy secrets and want to preserve the printer-blindness property, pad the content with a random salt or encrypt it before using paperback.


Typical usage will be through the paperback executable. Use the --help option for a usage menu.

# Back up the content in data.key
paperback data.key out.pdf

Sample output

See sample directory

sample page one sample page two

More complex patterns

See the YARD documentation.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request