[Scribus] Some basics?

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Sun Jul 16 00:41:14 CEST 2006

Hi Matt,

Am Samstag, 15. Juli 2006 17:24 schrieb Matt Savigear:
> Hello Scribus users,
> I have just installed Scribus (on Linux) and have some pretty basic
> questions which don't seem to be answered in the docs - they're more
> along the lines of recommendations anyway.
> I want to create a relatively long manual, of perhaps 200 pages all
> told. Now, I know I need to create the text separately (probably by
> chapter) and create tables and picture elements separately, and then
> tie them all together in the scribus frames. No problem.
> There are still a few things I'm unsure of:
> (a) Having made my last efforts using LaTeX I love the document
> structuring features but I was unable to fully get the layout I wanted.
> LaTeX does have some neat features such as automatic section numbering.
> You can generate a section layout such as:
>   2
>    2.1
>      2.1.1
>      2.1.2
>    2.2
>    2.3
>    2.3.1
>   3
> ...and so on, and if you insert a new \section header in the text
> between, say, 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 it will automatically renumber the old
> one at 2.1.3 and keep document integrity. Can this be done in scribus?

Short answer: No. The capabilities of Scribus with respect to structured 
documents are bit weak at the moment. We may, however, hope for many 
improvements in the future.

I advise you to search the archives, the topic must have been discussed a 
hundred times or so here, the last time a few days ago.

> (b) What do people use for their text editing needs? It seems that the
> cleanest way of doing this is to write in absolutely plain text however
> that makes it difficult to denote chapter and section headings, as well
> as numbered and bulleted lists. Is HTML a good medium? This would allow
> lists and headings without trying to export style information I would
> rather leave to scribus.

You can use a text editor, but also OpenOffice.org or StarOffice. If you don't 
need paragraph styles to be imported, you can even use Word or any other word 
processor that is capable of saving as *.doc. Note that Scribus can only 
import plain text from word documents, no styles, no formatting. HTML is 
another option, but you have to try whether this format serves your purpose. 
In any case it's _not_ recommended to use Scribus for text editing, only for 

> I guess what I am really asking is what is the cost/benefit of using
> scribus? How much more manual layout needs to be done over direct
> content creation in a word processor or markup language?
> Benefit: Vastly better control over document layout.
> Cost:    Loss of a lot of neat automated functionality.

You got it. As has been said many times here, LaTeX is the tool of choice 
here. And you _can_ LaTeX let produce exactly what you want, but you have to 
take a dive into some advanced configuration options and learn how to tweak 
style files.
In fact, TeX/LaTeX can do _anything_ with respect to text formatting, layout 
etc., if properly used. They are as perfect as software can be.

> Of course, what I'd _really_ like to be able to do is import LaTeX
> documents into scribus for layout. That would be very neat indeed!

Wait until Andreas returns from his super-secret lab, the face black of smoke 
and smacking of sulfur ;)

> Many thanks for any responses!



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