[Scribus] frantic noobie questions

PLinnell mrdocs
Wed Aug 31 17:46:07 CEST 2005


On Wednesday 31 August 2005 12:36, J. MacPhail wrote:
> Hello, people.
> I'm attempting to lay out a 48-page magazine that was previously
> done in PageMaker.  Despite fairly extensive past experience with
> word processing and typesetting with plain TeX, I am new to DTP. 
> So I have a lot of questions.
> 1. Margins.  What confuses me is that the margin setting seem to be
> used in two different paradigms: for some people, the margins are a
> "rule" -- defining a clipping region outside of which nothing is
> printed; for others, the margins are a guideline, and the clipping
> region is the edge of the page.  My inclination would be to use
> margin settings as guidelines for the main body of the material, so
> I will have a headline above the margins.  Is this purely a matter
> of taste, or are there serious traps lurking here?
Margins, depending on how you set them up can be hard margins and can 
clip off content. What you need to do is setup guides which is what I 
think you are looking for.

> 2. Colour management implementation.  Our colour usage is
> simplistic, and it would certainly be desirable (thought not
> absolutely necessary) to send PDF/X-3 to our printer.  I've
> installed from
> debian.scribus.net the packages scribus-cvs_1.3.0-1_i386.deb and
> scribus-icc_0.1-1_all.deb, but it still is very unclear to me how
> to set up colour management.  Is it realistic to create a document
> without CMS, and then apply CMS so as to have PDF/X-3 output?  Does
> using CMS put much extra strain on the software, in terms of file
> sizes and so on?

First and foremost, make sure your printer can truly handle RGB and 
CMYK PDF/X-3. Scribus can generate fully compliant files, but unless 
your printer is prepared to support it, don't bother. 

Then, read *all* the docs and external linked howtos on color 
management if you have not used CMS before. Incorrect usage can make 
color issues worse. Color management is a complex affair.

See http://docs.scribus.net 

> 3. Tables.  I have lots of tables in which each row is just a
> single line of text entries.  The Scribus table support is not
> intuitively obvious to me, and I wish there were a mini-howto
> explaining all about it.  How do you format text so that it will be
> read into different array entries instead of the first box?  What
> happens if the desired table goes beyond a single page?  The table
> elements seem to be text boxes, so what happens if you want
> graphics?

Tables support is very basic and it is planned to do a complete 
overhaul in the 1.3.x devel series. I am writing a howto right now 
for table handling options. 

> 4. Getting at a PageMaker file.  Even though I have not used
> PageMaker, a mini-howto on migrating from PageMaker to Scribus
> would be very helpful to me in knowing what to ask from my
> predecessor. What software exists that can read a PageMaker file --
> for example, is there a gratis demo vesion or anything?

Pagemaker and (sometimes) Indesign 2.0+ can read them. 
See here: 

> 5. Standardized items.  Let's see if I have this right.  The
> scrapbook is for saving content.  The styles are used within the
> story editor for local text formatting, and it seems to be a matter
> of taste whether to use the story editor or something else such as
> the OpenOffice word processor -- like in programming with an
> integrated development environment, where using an external editor
> is reasonable. Templates are for the structure of a single page or
> a whole document. So I left confused about how to store the
> structure of just part of a page.  For example, if I develop some
> table format that I would like to reuse, what should I do?

You can save scrapbooks or as a separate page which can be saved and 
then imported. I recommend creating a seprate layer and then 
importing into that, to avoid contents being disturbed on the page.

I hope that helps,


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