[Scribus] Collection of Tips

Craig Ringer craig
Mon Aug 6 11:00:32 CEST 2007

Christoph Sch?fer wrote:
> Am Montag, 6. August 2007 08:37 schrieb Stewart Noy:
>> Thomas Zastrow-4 wrote:
>>> Stewart Noy schrieb:
>>>> Thomas Zastrow-4 wrote:
>>>>> Hello,
>>>>> my little collection with Scribus tips / tutorials is now online:
>>>>> http://www.thomas-zastrow.de/readarticle.php?article_id=42
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Tom
>>>> Nice one Thomas. I was going to use the text over images, unfortunately
>>>> I soon found out that transparency isn't yet supported :( Ah well, good
>>>> ideas
>>>> though!
>>>> Stewart
>>> Hi Stewart,
>>> certainly Scribus supports transparency, take a look at the properties
>>> dialog under "Colors", there you can set the opacity to any value you
>>> want. Also exporting to PDF was never a problem for me.
>>> Best,
>>> Tom
>> Hi, yeah I seem to be able to export to PDF 1.4 with transparency, but to
>> PDF/X-3 (which is what I need) the Preflight Verifier gives me an "Object
>> Has Transparency" message, and when I do export to PDF the transparency has
>> been removed leaving a solid colour.
>> Am I doing something wrong?
> No. PDF/X-3 doesn't support transparency, that's all ;)

As the current Scribus PDF export engine cannot flatten transparency
internally, that means you can't use transparency at all for PDF/X-3 .

At some point it's likely that Scribus's PDF output will be enhanced so
that it can render areas that use transparency to bitmaps and include
them in the PDF. There are some interesting complications with doing
this, though, especially with getting the edges between the vector and
raster bits to match properly, getting the same anti-aliasing, and
ensuring that colour management is performed consistently on the
different parts of the PDF. As a result, it might just convert the
_whole_ PDF to a bitmap if transparency is used.

That's your best workaround at this point if your design cannot be
accomplished without the use of transparent elements. Export to PDF 1.4
or similar (something with transparency support) then rasterize your PDF
to an image using something like GhostScript. If your printers will
accept a TIFF, just send them that. If they really require PDF/X-3, you
can bundle the TIFF up on a Scribus page and export *that* as PDF/X-3 .

Convoluted? Yes. But it'll work. Do keep a careful eye on your colour

The GIMP seems to do an OK job of rasterizing PDF (using gs internally I
think) but will ruin CMYK colours, so it's probably not a good choice.
Avoid it.

At work I have to deal with malformed PDFs that neither Acrobat nor
Photoshop can handle. I usually rasterize these with gs and provide a
TIFF to our production department. Here's the command line I use
(normally wrapped up in a simple script but I've extracted just the
basic command line):

gs -sDEVICE=tiff24nc -sOutputFile="OUTFILE.tiff" -r300x300 \
        -dTextAlphaBits=4 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 \
        -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET "INFILE.pdf"

Replace OUTFILE.tiff and INFILE.pdf as appropriate. If you want a script
to do it, something like this should do the trick when saved to a text file:

# Use GhostScript to convert a PDF to a TIFF
set -e -u
if test $# != 2; then
        echo "Usage: $0 input.pdf output.tiff"
        exit 1
gs -sDEVICE=tiff24nc -sOutputFile="$2" -r300x300 \
        -dTextAlphaBits=4 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 \
        -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET "$1"

then run `chmod a+x /path/to/script' to make it executable.

Adjust the -r300x300 parameter to match your required resolution.

Craig Ringer

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