[Scribus] Crash and export problems.

Craig Ringer craig
Wed Jan 18 03:15:02 CET 2006

On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 04:14:35PM +0100, Mark Nowiasz wrote:

> The bad news: I've encountered three problems:
>      1. After finishing 30 pages I tried to moved some pages, the
>         program crashed (signal 11). Unfortunately, the document was
>         corrupt - when I tried to load the document, scribus did also
>         crash. After recovering from my shock, I managed to correct the
>         document using a plain editor. To prevent this, it would be a
>         good idea if scribus won't save the document in case of crashed
>         - or save an emergency copy, but it's not a good idea to
>         overwrite the file on disk.

This is very odd. Scribus should __NEVER__ overwrite the original file
if it's forced to exit suddenly, for the very reason that it might
corrupt the file. An emergency save should be generated instead.

What version of Scribus are you using?

>      2. For reasons unknown to me, the printer wants the pages as images
>         - jpeg preferred - I know it sounds odd, and I myself consider
>         it to be *very* strange. When exporting pages as images, the
>         text looks really bad - no matter which resolution I choose.
>         Apparently no anti-aliasing is being applied.

Scribus's JPEG export is not pre-press quality (colour or resolution).
It's useful for page thumbnails and so on. It actually uses the display
engine to produce the jpeg.

This is on the TODO list to address, but I don't know of anyone planning
on working on it any time soon. To support it well would probably
require some significant work on the renderer. Since it's trivial for
most print shops to rasterise PDF files to TIFF or JPEG images if they
need to, this hasn't been a priority.

Note that you can always use GhostScript to produce raster images from
your PDF file output. This might be something to put up on the docs
site. Here's the sort of gs command line you'll usually want to use:

gs -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=tiff24nc \
-dTextAlphaBits=4 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 -r300x300 \
-sOutputFile=FILENAME-%d.tiff FILENAME.pdf

Here, -r300x300 says "render at 300 DPI".

-sOutputFile is the destination file(s). If the filename contains "%d",
the %d is replaced by the page number being output. This is useful for
rendering multi-page files.

-sDEVICE=tiff24nc tells gs to use a TIFF renderer with 24 bit colour.
This will be suitable for many uses. Other devices
you're likely to want include:
	tiff32nc:	32 bit colour TIFF image
	tiffgray:	Greyscale TIFF image
	tiffsep:	TIFF, separated into plates
	jpeg:		RGB colour JPEG
	jpeggray:	Greyscale JPEG
	psdcmyk:	CMYK Photoshop document (yes, modern GhostScript versions can write Photoshop documents!),
	psdrgb:		RGB Photoshop document
You can use `gs -h' to get a listing of all supported devices in your
verison and build. Unfortunately they don't come with any descriptive
text and there are some extremely obscure ones in the list, plus output
formats for various printers, so it can be a long and confusing list.
The ones listed above are some of the more common ones you'll need.

If you're using GhostScript for this, get the ABSOLUTE LATEST VERSION.
I cannot stress this enough. Each version of gs advances significantly
in PDF processing ability - and you should use Scribus's PDF output, not
it's PostScript, with gs.

Thinking about it, I should see what it'd take to have Scribus provide a
UI for using GhostScript for these transformations. It shouldn't be too
hard to do, and might benefit users considerably by providing
press-quality document rasterisation.

(mrdocs: Please feel free to plonk any of this info that may be useful
into docs).

>      3. The alternative to jpegs would be pdf - in a book format (Page 1
>         next to 40, etc.).Unfortunately, scribus does not support this -
>         and using pdf2ps -> psbook ist not an option: I tried and gs
>         quit after about 600 megabytes(!) of output.

Scribus supports arbitrary page orderings. While it can't automatically
produce out-of-order files, you can tell it to yourself.

In the PDF export dialog, instead of outputting "all pages", pick which
pages to send. In the text box for the list of pages, enter a list of
all pages you wish to export and the order you want them in, separated
by commas. For example, if I have a 4 page document I want to print
entirely in reverse, I can enter:


This is common functionality for many programs (IIRC the same thing
works in MS Word, for example). In your case it should do the trick
nicely. It'll also fit in very well with the use of GhostScript to
post-process the PDF file into another format, as described above.

Craig Ringer

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