[Scribus] Embedding a PDF inside a page

Craig Ringer craig
Tue Aug 22 17:24:01 CEST 2006

Gregory Pittman wrote:
> Michael Petroni wrote:
>> The problem by placing the pdf inside an image frame is, that it is 
>> automatically converted to a bitmap (settings seem to be the same as for 
>> eps graphics in preferences, default 300dpi) by ghostscript.
>> I'm planning to produce an ezine with contributed pages by other people 
>> which I will receive as pdf files. By placing inside an image frame, all 
>> text will be converted to bitmaps. This means not only loosing quality, 
>> the text is not markable in the pdf reader in the final output pdf any more.
> One of the things we keep seeing is an apparent obsession with the idea 
> that:
>     bitmap = bad
>     vector graphics = good

Yep, and while it's certainly not that black and white, ther's some 
truth in it:

	- When targeting a press, bitmaps leave the RIP little leeway
	  for clever halftoning and other processes to ensure crisp
	- Bitmaps usually result in bigger files, which while rarely an
	  issue for sending to a press, can be a problem for online
	- As noted earlier, when working with the electronic document,
	  you can't select a bitmap as text and copy it (you need an OCR
	  tool that understands PDF, and then the results are iffy
	  at best).

So, overall, I do think output paths that avoid rasterising inputs in 
favour of retaining the original form are preferable in most situations. 
  Not all, and it's never black and white, but more often than not I'd 
rather not use a bitmap if I can include the original vector/mixed form.

> If what you are trying to do is to take PDFs and disassemble-reassemble 
> to a larger PDF, Scribus is not the right tool. Adobe Acrobat will do 
> this, or you might try pdftk for a free program to do this job.

Yep. Hopefully Scribus will be able to do it one day, though I've not 
yet done much in that direction personally, but right now it's not the 
way to go. HOWEVER, you can sometimes get good results by converting the 
PDFs to EPS files, then using those in Scribus using the PostScript 
output path and an external PS to PDF conversion tool. Unfortunately the 
best results are obtained by the Save as EPS tool from Acrobat and 
Adobe's Distiller (gs is pretty darn good for PS -> PDF, but not so 
great for PDF -> EPS unfortunately). It's still worth a try if you 
REALLY need to avoid bitmaps, but you'll run into a whole extra set of 
issues, and there's no guarantee you'll retain editable text (nor any 
guarantee about how much of the PDF might be rasterised during 
conversion to EPS anyway).

Craig Ringer

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