[Scribus] RE: Scribus and Imposition

Alastair Robinson blackfive
Thu Apr 1 00:51:19 CEST 2004

Hi All,

On Wednesday 31 March 2004 11:03 pm, scribus-request at nashi.altmuehlnet.de 

> I agree that this would be a huge task to take on and not being a coder, I
> can offer little help in that regard. That being said, I am certain that
> there are many on this list that live and die by imposition (myself
> included). I'm certain that you could get a number of insights as to what
> users would be looking for in an imposition package and also our views on
> what the strong/weak point of the various commercial packages are.

I'm a (hobbyist) coder, but currently a busy one :(  I do, however, work at a 
small printing firm that uses PageMaker for most layout jobs, so imposition 
is a feature that I'm interested in.

As I see it, people's expectations of imposition facilities within Scribus 
will fall into roughly three categories:

* Printing a small document, i.e. a business card, multiple-up with crop 
marks.  I believe the latest version of PagePlus is capable of doing this.

* Paginating a booklet into pairs of facing pages (16&1, 2&15, 14&3, etc.).  
OpenOffice can do this.  Publisher can do this if you're prepared to wrestle 
with it.  PageMaker comes with a Build Booklet plugin that attempts this, but 
fails miserably if more than one master page has been used, and won't do 
anything other than saddle-stitch on a multiple-document publication.

* Full-blown plate-layout, where the pages are imposed according to a 
user-specified signature.  The requirements here are much tougher to meet, 
because to be useful, the finished article should be suitable for sending 
direct to a CTP system, so as someone pointed out, here we enter the realms 
of trapping...

To my mind, the last of these is a long-term goal, but the first two shouldn't 
pose huge technical barriers.

> Working with the developers of one of those packages, I know that the job
> could probably not be done entirely within the scripting engine, there are
> just too many variables. While there are some very good commercial packages
> that work on a plug-in basis to QXP (in-position, etc.) their feature set
> is somewhat limited.

I can't speak for the PDF output, since I don't know how it's generated, but 
at the PostScript level all that's needed is for the Scribus core to be able 
to generate the pages in an order specified by the imposition code - the rest 
would be most easily handled with PostScript translates and rotates.

> A PDF based imposition solution would be an ideal companion package to
> Scribus. All that would be needed at this point would be to start talking
> feature set requests, i.e. PDF flat out, Job Ticket out,  JDF out, etc.

I think we need to build some kind of glossary for some of these terms too!

All the best,
Alastair M. Robinson
Email: blackfive at fakenhamweb.co.uk

An elephant is a mouse using Windows...

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