[Scribus] need to create greyscale PDF/X-3

Nik scribus
Tue Mar 14 04:52:31 CET 2006

Hi Christoph,

Vielen Dank f?r Ihre hilfreiche Nachricht.

Christoph Sch?fer wrote:
> Hi Nik,
> Am Dienstag, 14. M?rz 2006 02:04 schrieb Nik:
> A question I would ask first is: Why PDF/X-3 if you want to print greyscale or 
> duotone?

You know, I did ponder on whether PDF/X-3 was appropriate for non-colour 
output. However, from the very informative page here:


I understood that PDF/X-3 is a subset of PDF, specifically aimed at 
ensuring the most accurate transfer of printing information. So I 
figured it was the most likely format to work, regardless of whether the 
content was colour or monochrome. In fact, I recall that there is 
mention in the Scribus documentation of old PDF/X-1 supporting greyscale 
colour spaces.

I have no particular attachment to PDF/X-3, so long as the printer can 
easily and correctly print what I send.

>>1. All pictures need to be in greyscale
> For converting colour pictures to real greyscale in GIMP, please read the 
> tutorial here: http://www.gimpguru.org/Tutorials/Color2BW/

Thanks - I didn't think converting to greyscale would be difficult, but 
I'm inferring from what you say here that there are better and worse 
ways of doing it? :o)

>>3. If we are printing in black plus one colour (which we don't currently
>>do, but are considering the option), then we need to provide the
>>document in black plus one colour expressed as a Spot colour.
> This seems to make sense, since your printer probably only needs to produce 
> two plates instead of four.

...interesting - thanks for the insight... :o)

> You can do yourself a favour and wait a few days until Scribus 1.3.3 is 
> released. It has additional greyscale export, as long as you don't use 
> PDF/X-3.

Ok, that sounds very helpful. May I ask why greyscale export to PDF/X-3 
is not supported? (I'm curious, particularly if it's a case of "we don't 
believe it would be really useful to anyone.")

>>Q2: Or do I need to create a separate greyscale document, either
>>manually, or through a script or plugin?
> I had no chance to test greyscale export of 1.3.3, but if you need high 
> quality greyscale files, I'd follow the instructions for creating greyscale 
> images in the tutorial mentioned above. 

This is the hint that there are better and worses ways of creating 
greyscale pics - yes? If I go the scribus script route, I believe I 
could call Gimp from within the script to do the greyscale conversion.

If I go the non-script route, then I could convert to greyscale 
relatively easily if I can get the data into the RGB colour space.

>>Q3: Is there some other way that I haven't thought of?
> As above: Even if you don't trust 1.3.3 yet, install it in addition to your 
> and try the greyscale option in PDF export.

It's not actually a matter of trusting 1.3.3, it's a matter of 
practicality. I removed Scribus 1.3.x from my own machine some time ago, 
when I realised that the file formats and font handling were quite 
different, and I really had to choose which version I was going to use 
for production work. It was sad in a way, because I really liked a lot 
of the 1.3 look and feel.

The newsletter in question is going to be produced in the future by 
someone other than myself, on a different machine (Fedora Core 4 on an 
old G4 PPC), so it is important that we standardise on software.

However, I will certainly test the greyscale PDF export of 1.3.3 as it 
may well be the best answer for me, and I will happily provide feedback 
to the developers, if that is of any help.

> HTH,
> Christoph

Most helpful indeed. Again, many thanks.


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