[Scribus] spellcheck for Scribus

John Beardmore John
Thu Dec 27 22:20:33 CET 2007

Cedric Sagne wrote:

> 1) Most importantly... can it be disabled?
> Scribus can get slow with large documents, large amounts of text. I am 
> worried a complex feature like this will threaten the stability of the 
> application.

I'm not sure why it should threaten it in Scribus any more than word, OO 
etc ?

Presumably when working, even 'as you type' within a moderate number of 
linked text boxes, it's not even working on a particularly large data 
set, and I doubt any spelling checkers are aware of a context beyond the 
current sentence ?  It doesn't sound intrinsically hard to debug or make 
stable ?

> 2) FACT:

No need to shout.

> In a proper work flow, text is spell-checked before being 
> inserted, and design is a separate work from copy writing, possibly even 
> done by different people.

Possibly, but I suspect this sort of assumption is decreasingly true, 
and personally I somewhat resent it.

I got into DTP by writing news letters.  Back in the mid 90s we found 
that word was unstable, so purchased Pagemaker which was a massive 

We mostly worked by interactively fitting the text we had into whatever 
space was left around the artwork that we had.  Either could be adjusted 
to arrive at the effect we wanted.

This may not conform to anybody elses ideal, but it worked well for us 
then as environmental activists, and it continues to work well for us 
now as environmental professionals.

I'm not sure what a "proper workflow" is, but I really resent it when 
people tell me that we can't have the tools we want because of some 
local notion of propriety !

> WHY: This is meant to reduce the overhead on the designer,

Still no need to shout...

And "Meant" by who anyway ??

> ensure a step 
> by step which will reduce iterations (costly in time).

Hmmm...  If I make a change in Scribus, then have to export the text to 
spell check it, that's what I call "costly in time" !!


No need to shout.  Did we all get asked what constitutes good
practice ?  I don't recall being sent a voting slip !

> It is good practice even when you have to do everything: 
> spotting a typo and changing your text when everything is nearly 
> finished is also a safe way to get a typo all the way in your final output.

I don't think there is much point in spell checking until you are 
COMPLETELY finished !

Now you've got me shouting !


Aaaagh !

> A spell checker encourages copy writers to request last minute 
> changes instead of getting the spellcheck done when it is due.

I wonder what proportion of us work in environments where copy writers 
plat a role as a stand alone entity ?

A straw poll might be interesting ?

> The 
> impact on good practice is twofold as although word spelling is within 
> reach of computers, style changes, grammar, vocabulary changes are not.
> If copy writers get into the habit of changing their text after it is 
> handed over to design, they can become iteration champions.

This may be an issue in such environments, but I suspect the bulk of us 
both specify and undertake out work.

Even where I specify and delegate, for the most part, I still want the 
to work in the DTP environment, developing text interactively with the 
graphical resources, and making the iterations required to get the job 
done as documents evolve over time, possibly being passed around two or 
three authors.

> CONCLUSION: In short, and apart from the software stability viewpoint, 
> the work flow impact seems to offset the gains,

Some of what you say may apply in a 'sausage machine' / 'conveyor belt' 
journalism environment, but I'm not sure that it holds in more creative 
and considered disciplines such as the production of technical 

> especially when 
> dedicated word processors do that task very well.

If a word processing environment did what I wanted well, I'd be working 
in it, but even the best, e.g. word and OO, don't cope that well with 
the production of large technical documents.

For the sort of work we do, something with page layout AND an 'as you 
type' spelling checker would be ideal.  Scribus is starting to do the 
first part excellently.  I really don't want some notion of propriety 
standing in the way of the second one unless there is a really good reason.

I'm thus pleading for a spelling checker as soon as possible, ideally 
one which highlights errors 'as you type' !

Cheers, J.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Carbon Trust Consultant: Energy Audit, Carbon Footprint, Design Advice
Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme Registered Assessor
P:0845 4561332  F:0870 0522417  M:07785 563116  Skype:t4sustainability

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