[Scribus] imports

Peter Linnell scribusdocs
Tue Nov 4 05:51:17 CET 2003

On Mon, 2003-11-03 at 23:37, Bill Carini wrote:
> I never tried out this feature prior to 1.1.2, but when I import an
> eps or pdf (which seems only possible when a picture frame is selected),
> they come out appearing very pixelish. (svg imports beautifully).

Completely normal. 

<snipped from a new section of the docs>

If it looks bad on screen, it will print terribly.

EPS files or Encapsulated Postscript files. EPS files natively have no
screen preview at all. EPS files are really a special subset of
postscript instructions. They typically look just plain awful on screen
if they have a TIFF or PICT preview embedded or are just a simple gray
box. EPS have two important virtues: They print well to both high
resolution printers or when creating PDF's. EPS files can be resolution
independent and are the only file you can (sometimes) safely scale
larger than 100% than its native size without degrading image sharpness.

The one issue you might find with EPS files is while a lot of
applications can generate EPS files, not all do so with the same
fidelity to high-quality printing, nor do all apps follow the EPS specs
properly. One way to test an EPS for use with Scribus, is to open the
EPS in GsView and look in the message box, by pressing Shift M. This
will show the output messages from Ghostscript. Ghostscript is correctly
quite fussy about EPS files. So, if you are trying to import EPS files
and they do not work properly in Scribus and GsView/Ghostscript is
spitting lots of error messages, try using a different application to
generate them.

One reason for the ubiquity of EPS files in DTP is there is another DTP
application which historically had poor support for TIFF and other
bitmap image files, but does have good support for EPS import. So, many
DTP users habitually create EPS files from bitmap images from Photoshop
or others. Unfortunately, this can have the side effect of receiving
image files which may need adjustment, but without the original image
file - impossible. EPS is ideal for receiving vector artwork like maps,
mixed with text. The caveat is the fonts should be embedded in the EPS
properly to print properly from Scribus. 

Fortunately, Scribus automatically creates a low resolution preview
image which is handy for placing and adjusting sizing on the page. When
importing an EPS, Scribus generates a 72 dpi PNG preview of the EPS, so
do not be concerned if it does not look sharp right away. Printing or
exporting a PDF will generate the high resolution image in the file.

Skeptical about the difference between a vector and a bitmap image file
? Here is an example that you can see for yourself. Go to:


Get the linked postscript, which is an EPS version of Tux and then right
click and download one of the gifs. They are about the same in file
size. Now create a new doc in Scribus with 2 regular size pages. Place
the gif on one page and then the eps file on another. Export a PDF at
600+ dpi. Open in Acro Reader. Zoom in 200-400 %.Now you see the

Why the difference ? Scribus creates and Acrobat Reader renders
something called postscript operators - another fancy name for using
math in drawing curves on screen and when printed. A gif, or JPEG is
just a bunch of pixels, literally dots to create the image. 

My New Favorite File Format

SVG imports...


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