[Scribus] feedback from typesetting 250 page book

Kernow Craig kernow
Fri May 5 04:16:24 CEST 2006

Hi All,

Ive just come out of typesetting a book in scribus and have the
following feedback and questions.

Generally I found it excellent, up until the point of more than 50
pages, however I will focus on the difficulties I encountered and
questions I could not work out answers to. Ill break it down into bugs,
 useability and features. I encountered many issues and ended up
installing scribus 1.3.3 on Ubuntu PPC, Fink, and Ubuntu x86 using
everything from XDarwn to Fluxbox to get the best results.

Please give me an indication of which points I should enter into the bug
tracker and I will do so. If something is unclear in how I have
described it, or its not possible to recreate the problem becuase I
haven't given enough info then please let me know and I'll do my best to

_Bugs_ -

1. My biggest issue was the slowness of using the story editor.
To do a find and replace of inch marks to turn them into curly quotes in
the story editor it would take up to 30 seconds per replacement. This
would mean sometimes a wait of 10 minutes for doing a 'replace all' on a
 15 page article for inch marks alone. It seems that the story editor
rescans the entire text for a single replacement.

2. Once I got over 40,00 words or so the whole program was running VERY
VERY slowly. This was mildly improved by using Fluxbox instead of GNOME
in the non cross platform attempts. The total word count was 88,361
which was unmanageable.

3. Opening files took a long time sometimes a few minutes when the files
got more text - sometimes up to 5 minutes or more.

4. Once the file got over 200 pages I was not able to reopen it at all -
 this was heartbreaking as I really lost a lot of work at this point. I
can send the file through to any of the developers to look at if you
think it would be helpful for you, just mail me offlist.

5. the page numbers stopped appearing in the 'page navigation' box after
34 pages in Scribus 1.3.2 Fink.

6. The in 'document setup' the 'sections' option made the box appear
infinitely to the right hand side in  Scribus 1.3.2 Fink making it unusable.

7. When Copy and pasting text boxes repeatedly over many pages sometimes
the title of the text boxes (normally saying 'textbox 164' or something
like that) would be replaced by a huge string of xml. (I belive that Ive
seen this reported in the bug tracker or mailing but thought I should
mention it again in case)


1. The fact that it is not possible to adjust the line spacing of a
single line of text (i.e. to pull it up closer to the line above)
without effecting all other lines of text in the text box is a serious
problem. Or am I missing something here?

2. I know its been said before, but.. The baseline and linespacing
options took me two days to find. Its placement is not intuitive at all.
Make the options as checkboxes or at least have text in the 'up' display
of the drop down menu.

3. it would be good if it was possible to import open office .sxw files
from the story editor. At the moment its only possible to do this with
the right mouse click and selecting 'get text...'. But not possible when
using thee 'load from file' in the story editor, this seems a flaw in logic.

4. The strange scribus clipboard makes it impossible to get formatted
and stylesheeted text out of the program while maintaining the
formatting. It would be invaluable if it was change this to use the
operating systems clipboard - or to make a feature that allows the user
to intentionally use the operating systems clipboard instead.


1. I couldnt work out how to make elements on a page that I could use in
a similar way to the way that indesign and quark hav the master pages ->
where I can use elements n a page that are easy to duplicate yet also

2. Character styles are invaluable when working with books. I would
think twice before using scribus for a book again without the feature of
character styles.

3. Smart punctuation would also be an invaluable feature. By smart
punctuation  I mean changing inch marks into directional curly quotes
and single apostrophes into single quote marks when they need to.

4. I saw recently the website addition of a script that adds crop marks,
but I fell this is a very important feature to offer as default.

7. It would be good to have a similar feature for 'sections' like with
the 'insert page number' option. So that you could simlpy insert a
'section name' for running headlines etc.

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