[Scribus] frantic noobie questions

Howard White scribus
Wed Aug 31 18:08:22 CEST 2005

So many questions... all of them good ones.

>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. 

Scribus margins are guidelines. You can print stuff outside the margins (as long as it fits on the paper, of course.

>2. Colour management implementation. 
mrdocs will undoubtedly chime in and have much better advice than I.
>3. Tables.
Native table support in Scribus is presently not very good. You are better off creating even slightly complex tables in another application, such as Open Office Writer, and importing them as EPS or PDF data.
>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?

AFAIK there is no way of reading a PageMaker(or Quark or InDesign) native file into Scribus and won't be. You are better off asking your writers to use a good word processor (again, Open Office Writer is ideal if available to them. You can agree on styles that will be imported into Scribus.) Scribus has very good tools for importing text from OO Writer, and can also import user-defined "tags" in raw .txt files. See the Scribus Public Wiki for a HowTo on laying out pages using tagged raw text files.

>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.
The scrapbook is good for saving content that is likely to be reused from one issue to the next (in the case of a magazine, maybe the banner, masthead, etc.) The scrapbook is just a file, so you can have many scrapbooks and choose the one you need for a particular job.

Styles (Paragraph styles) are used throughout Scribus, not just in Story Editor. Story Editor is not a word processor -- it has no spell checker, no intelligence about things like inch marks (") vs true open and close quotes, and on and on. Yes, yes, use OpenOffice Writer.

Templates are for the structure of an entire document; within templates, Master Pages are for the structure of single pages. 

Welcome to Scribus. It can do what you need, I'm confident. If you have IRC, the #scribus channel on freenode.net gets you instant gratification :-)


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