[Scribus] Zine in Scribus

dalecoz at aol.com dalecoz
Sun Jul 23 05:31:39 CEST 2006

I just finished laying out a 20 digest-sized page 'zine' using Scribus, and I would like to pass along my experiences.  First, my setup: I'm running Scribus on a Windows 2000 machine.  The machine has 512 meg of ram, and a AMD Athalon 1800+ processor.
The 'zine' is essentially an oversized newsletter that is being sent to 44 fellow members of an APA (Amateur Press Association) dedicated to Science Fiction and Fantasy.  It is printed on American-style letter sized paper in landscape mode, with two zine pages on each side of each physical sheet of paper.  I set the pages up manually so that they printed correctly in booklet form.  Scribus probably would have done that for me but I was in a hurry and just went ahead and did it.  The zine was originally supposed to be 16 pages long, but I discovered that I needed to expand that to 20 pages at the last minute.
Overall things went well.  I ended up with a very nice looking zine, and will almost certainly continue to use Scribus for the zine.  At the same time I'm using an unstable version of the software, and as expected I ran into a few problems, though no crashes.  The most frustrating problem was the drastic slowdown as the zine got larger.  I also ran into a couple of problems and one apparent bug.  First, I had a great deal of problems linking text frames for a while.  I discovered that if I set up a text frame and then changed the shape to 2 columns with a gap between them, Scribus wouldn't let me link to the resulting frame.  It said that the frame was already full (Sorry, I don't have the exact message in front of me).  That was fairly easy to work around.  I linked and then set up the shape of the frame.  Second, when I had to expand the zine from 16 to 20 pages I tried to move text frames that were already linked to other text frames around in the document.  That didn't work so well.  I ended up getting unpredictable results, with text in some frames duplicated.  I finally just got rid of all of the text frames except for the first one in the chains I moved, and then re-established them.  At that point I ran into what pretty much has to be a bug, though it may be very difficult to reproduce.  When I printed the zine, the text but not the pictures were cut off on the right side.  Only approximately 8.5 inches of text were printed, even though landscape should give you 11 inches.  As I said, pictures printed out to the 11 inch mark.  The layout on the screen was also fine.  I messed with this problem for a while, then just saved and got out of Scribus and then back in.   The problem went away.  I remember hating intermittent problems back when I was a serious programmer, but this appears to be one.  If I can get it to reproduce I'll file a bug report.
In any case, I came away happy, with a nice looking zine, and no more bugs than you would expect from an unstable version.
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