[Scribus] presentations

Peter Linnell scribusdocs
Mon Jan 19 05:17:24 CET 2004

On Sun, 2004-01-18 at 22:39, Gregory Pittman wrote:
> I have now done a couple of presentations creating PDF files with
> Scribus. While the end results are excellent, the process needs
> automation, or at least semi-automation beyond the features from within
> Scribus.
> Thomas Zastrow's suggestions are useful, yet still lead to crafting each
> slide individually. Presentations, in contrast to many other uses of
> Scribus, end up with a number of pages with relatively little text in
> any frame. The idea of generating numerous little text files is very
> cumbersome, so it more or less requires inserting and editing (or
> copying and editing) text in Scribus, which itself is cumbersome and
> frustrating at times.
> I am in the process of writing a Perl program to auto-generate .sla
> files which then can be further edited by Scribus. The main features I
> am interested in are pretty straightforward in the files. There are many 
> variables that are a mystery, though.*
> The starting point will be a standard page size (600pt by 450pt), a
> selected list of fonts on my system with at least a default size
> suitable for projection. Background color(s) and absence/presence of a
> gradient will be selectable. I want to start with a background
> slide-size box free of text as suggested by Thomas, then (at first) only
> one superimposed box.
> Since Scribus can auto-align side margins that aspect will be easy, but
> I would also like to have automatic vertical centering within the text
> box -- this may require selecting or autoadjustment of text size as well.
> It should also be easy to generate a temporary file to be able to view 
> an individual slide in the making using scribus. At first I just want to
> generate text frames, but adding other objects will eventually be
> feasible. I'll share this when I have a program that actually
> accomplishes something. So far I can generate a single slide/page file 
> that Scribus can display.
> Gregory Pittman
> * Is there anywhere to find out what all the various elements are in an
> .sla file?

You probably would be better off using the Python Scripter, plug-in to
automate much of this. Steve Calcott has done a masterful job with his
font sampler script, which calls Tkinter and creates a GUI to allow user
font selection. His python script is *very* well commented.

The Scribus scripter plug-in exposes many Scribus commands to create
pages, create text frames, set colors and more. The Scripter handbook
docs have been recently updated as well.

I have created a number of Scribus presentation PDF and do not find
working with text terribly difficult, especially with the Story Editor.
What I find is important is to have your desired paragraph styles in
place *before* bringing in text. Then, you can apply the formatting as
the text is placed on the page. 

My hesitation is trying to recreate Scribus docs with Perl is not
trivial. The file format, tho text XML based is rather complicated and
has a great number of tags. The plan for Scribus 1.2+ is to re-write the
format in more conforming XML with DTD.

The 0.8 version of the Scribus format is available for download on

Hope that helps,

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