[Scribus] Open Source Software and Book Authors

Nicholas Vettese nvettese
Fri Dec 15 14:53:19 CET 2006

What about using Latex? 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: scribus-bounces at nashi.altmuehlnet.de 
> [mailto:scribus-bounces at nashi.altmuehlnet.de] On Behalf Of wtb41
> Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 8:26 AM
> To: scribus at nashi.altmuehlnet.de
> Subject: [Scribus] Open Source Software and Book Authors
> I have written a book containing no graphics (no pictures or 
> charts); it has straight type, bulleted lists, numbered 
> lists, and tables. I need the ability to automate the 
> building of a table of contents and an index. In addition to 
> the standard font for type, I need a font (expert set) 
> providing small caps, ligatures, and oldstyle figures. I need 
> to be able to produce a PDF with embedded fonts. I also need 
> an option regarding subsetting of the embedded fonts (some 
> book manufacturers want subsetting; others don't). 
> As far as I know, the open-source community offers 2 
> applications that might be used to meet my needs. They are 
> (1) Scribus and (2) OpenOffice.org's Writer. Neither of these 
> applications is feasible today. Here are the
> reasons:
> 1. Scribus cannot (a) automate the building of a table of 
> contents and an index or (b) import tables. The procedures 
> that have been sketched to me for getting tables (from 
> another document) into a Scribus document are too onerous to 
> be considered seriously (my book has many tables). So scratch 
> Scribus off the list of feasible solutions.
> 2. OpenOffice.org's Writer. I have encountered 2 major 
> problems that almost surely are bugs within Writer. These 
> problems are as follows:
>      a. Writer's font menu. I bought 4 Windows Postscript 
> fonts: (1) Adobe Garamond Regular, (2) Adobe Garamond, 
> Italic, (3) Adobe Garamond, Bold, and
> (4) Adobe Garamond Regular Expert. I got all 4 of these fonts 
> working in Scribus simply by entering the path to the folder 
> containing the font files (really simple). I installed the 
> fonts into Microsoft Word (using the free ATM light), and all 
> 4 fonts worked perfectly. The 4 fonts appeared on 3 lines in 
> Word's font menu. One line serves the regular and italic 
> styles, with italic (true italic) produced with the I (I for 
> Italic) botton. A second font-menu line says, "AGaramond, 
> Bold." It appears on a separate line because the family of 
> fonts contains a semibold (which the B button produces). The 
> third font-menu line says, "AGaramondExp." I have tried 
> valiently to install the fonts in Writer, and each attempt 
> has failed. I installed them first using the program called 
> spadmin. When that did not work, I used KDE's Font Installer. 
> I installed the fonts in the order listed above. Each of the 
> first 3 fonts installed and worked fine until the expert set 
> was installed. After its installation, the font menu still 
> had only one line for the fonts, and now it produced only 
> glyphs from the expert set. The first 3 fonts became 
> inaccessible. I got that same result using both installers. 
> It's clearly not a font problem (because they work perfectly 
> in Scribus and Microsoft Word). Logic suggests an application 
> problem, the application being Writer.
>      b. Writer's PDF generator. I added small caps and 
> oldstyle figures to my book's first chapter. I then used 
> Writer's Export as PDF menu option to produce a PDF of the 
> chapter. The PDF has multiple defects, all of which concern 
> small caps. Each defect appears at first sight as tho a 
> letter did not print (a missing-letter look). But upon close 
> inspection, one sees that the letter is there (in the PDF), 
> but it's misplaced. Example: Three letters should have 
> appeared (in small caps) as IMO. Instead of that clean 
> 3-letter appearance, the O prints over the M (the M and the O 
> are superimposed). The PDF generator put the I; then it moved 
> one space to the right, and put the M. It should have moved 
> one more space to the right and put the O, but it didn't. It 
> put the O in the same spot at the M (the M and the O are 
> superimposed on one another). This error occurs 17 times in 6 
> pages of text, but not every instance of small caps has this 
> error. Example: page 2 has (in small caps) BTW, and each of 
> the 3 letters is in its proper place. Then page
> 6 has SST in small caps. Those 3 letters also are in their 
> proper places.
> Sometimes the misplaced letter is at the end of a string 
> (such as IMO); other times it is in the interior of a string 
> (as in GUIDE, where the I is misplaced to give the 
> missing-letter look, as in GU  DE, with the I printed over 
> the U and a blank space where the I should be.).
> My work on Chapter 1 produced a series of 7 PDFs of that 
> chapter. Each of the 7 contained the aforementioned defects; 
> so it was not a one-time fluke.
> The aforementioned defects--all involving small caps--could 
> be due to (1) the font, (2) the PDF generator, or (3) the PDF 
> viewer. The problem is not the font because it displays and 
> prints perfectly in the OpenOffice Writer application. The 
> problems first surfaced in the PDF. The problem is not the 
> PDF viewer because I viewed it with 2 viewers [the one within 
> Linux (KPDF) and Adobe Acrobat's Reader within Windows]. Both 
> viewers showed these defects. I then printed a hard copy of 
> page 6 from the PDF, and page 6's defects (those listed 
> above) appeared on the hard copy. Ergo, the problem 
> apparently lies with Writer's PDF generator.
> I also should mention that Writer offers no option regarding 
> the subsetting of fonts during the PDF-generating process. 
> The PDF viewer (KPDF) that came with my Mepis 6.0 
> distribution tells me that fonts are embedded in the PDF, but 
> it does not tell me whether it subset them.
> The bottom line: It appears as tho the open source community 
> does not now offer an application that will meet my current 
> needs regarding my book's publication. Your thoughts on the 
> matter will be appreciated.
> Bill Bailey
> --
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