[Scribus] RGB/CMYK/digital printers / wiki woes / Was: PDF color option

Dr. Werner Popken Werner
Mon Nov 12 10:37:43 CET 2007

> If you print on your Inkjet, you should use "monitor" since the printer
> expects RGB input. For offset printing, "printer" is the right option.

Just for your information (in case you run into the same troubles one

As it turned out, the printer had aquired the latest and best laser
printing equipment there is. They used the "printer"-pdf-version and
the output was identical to the pdf, but very different to the
(reference) Lulu-book. In particular, reds looked very much
brownish-orange, and they could not make it any more reddish although
they tried hard.

In consequence, the printer argued that Lulu had used offset for the
art images as they were not able to achieve identical results and
thought Lulu must have had the same problem. Having printed just one
copy, this seemed ridiculous for cost reasons alone, but they held
that Lulu would do this for marketing reasons. Magnifying the print,
it was not easy for me as a layman to tell the difference from images,
but the text revealed without doubt that Lulu does indeed print
digitally: the letters are pixeled in contrast to offset, where they
are sharp.

Lulu would most probably not use secret knowledge, but still we
couldn't figure out what the problem was. The obvious similarity
between monitor appearance and the printer output produced from that
same pdf file gave the crucial clue to the puzzle. After sending the
pdf used for Lulu (RGB), they printed just as fine. So obviously their
digital equipment expects and needs RGB.

As we did not know, I sent them both RGB and CMYK versions, but
somehow they didn't even give the RGB-version a try resulting in much
confusion. The RGB version has some 240 MB, the CMYK version way more
than 4 GB!

I guess that printing people just have to learn something new when
digital printing arrives. Why shouldn't professional laser printers
have drivers doing the necessary conversion just as office printers do
without saying? Some digital printing shops do require CMYK, though.
Most probably they have old equipment with dumb drivers.

By the way: pdfsam (pdfsam.org) does a great job - I wouldn't have
been able to do this without - thanks a lot for the hint from the list
and for Andrea doing a great job! Last but not least: I couldn't have
done anything without Scribus! Thank you all very much for such a
great tool!

Also: I made 2 flyers for 2 books with Scribus as intended, but used
other methods for the books themselves, producing sla-files via PHP
and doing finetuning in Scribus afterwards. Actually, for the last
run, I produced the catalog pdf part of the big book directly from
fpdf instead of using a sla-file interstage, making 660 pages of 796
total, joining all with pdfsam. I guess that everybody is apt to do
the same from scratch, so there is no need to elaborate about that.
But maybe an entry in the "Success stories"-section of the wiki would
be adequate. How would I do that? The create account link is


and gives a login screen and no option for a create-account-form.

Next: http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Scribus_Friendly_Print_Shops
shows outdated information with respect to Lulu (i.e. Hard cover is
currently limited to 6"x9") - I'd like to correct that.


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