[Scribus] Q: Adding image with transparency

Craig Ringer craig
Thu Mar 8 04:23:08 CET 2007

Jan Schrewe wrote:
> D. R. Evans schrieb am Donnerstag, 8. M?rz 2007:
>> Christoph Sch?fer said the following at 03/06/2007 06:46 PM :
>>> Select the image frame, open the properties palette, go to the "Colour"
>>> tab and select "None". If want to make this the default behaviour, you
>>> can do so in "File > Preferences" (general) or "File > Document Setup"
>>> (current document) under "Tools".
>> I think that billsey at earthlink.net clarified a lot of things for me. It
>> seems like I was making a fundamental error in thinking that Scribus was
>> the right tool for creating a complex layered image (for a book cover), and
>> instead I should be using GIMP for it.

Quite probably. Scribus is not ideal for image editing, though it really 
should be able to handle most image _compositing_ for things like a book 

It sounds like you're just being bitten by the default opaque white 
frame background in older versions. You haven't given enough information 
(a test case document, version info, etc) for me to be sure.

Speaking of example/test documents, I created a sample for you that you 
can get from http://www.postnewspapers.com.au/~craig/demo.sla.zip .

>> I had been thinking that the right way to proceed was to use GIMP to build
>> each image, and then I would use Scribus to position the images on multiple
>> layers and move the images on the layers around, but clearly that's not the
>> right approach if Scribus doesn't know anything opacity.

It does - Scribus can and will honour image opacity for images with 
alpha channels (like PNG). It also supports embedded clipping regions in 
TIFF and PSD images if you're using those, and it can create clipping 
regions around any image using the frame contour line.

It should do what you need, it just sounds like you've been having some 
trouble finding the functionality you need. I'm not too surprised, as 
some things (like the default white frame background for image frames in 
older versions) can be fairly unintuitive. The more we find out about 
those misunderstandings and difficulties the sooner and better they can 
be fixed.

>> I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the text flow of the blurb box on the
>> back cover in GIMP, but I expect that I'll solve that somehow.

At worst, once the rest of the image is composited in the GIMP you can 
just use Scribus to handle the text flow. Or you could do it in 
Inkscape. Whatever.

In truth, Scribus should be quite capable of the whole job.

> The way I usually do something like that is, to create the image in Gimp and 
> import it into scribus and add the text.

Yep, that's viable. Compositing multiple images with alpha channels 
should work just fine in Scribus though.

> It's the same as with Indesign and Photoshop. You use Indesign to do the 
> typography and create the image behind the text using photoshop.

Actually, these days Photoshop is quite fine for smaller text handling 
tasks too. Its text layers are excellent and with the non-destructive 
editing it supports I find it really good for that sort of task.

Of course, typesetting an entire book/booklet with it would be insanity, 
but for things like a blurb Photoshop should actually do just fine these 

Craig Ringer

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