[scribus] Sugestions needed

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Mon Apr 13 05:22:41 CEST 2009

I need to create a couple hundred simple formulas like this in a 130
page document. Some pages have 15 formulas or so, and some have none.
Here is an example (but pretend the brackets are solid):

[ +something  ]
[ - nothing       ]
] +anything     ]

The above is an example of a three element stack. In reality the number
of items varies from one to eight.

OK, that was a description of the task. Here are some ideas I have had
with some pros and cons for each:

1) Create a text frame and type a left and a right bracket separated by
a bunch of non-breaking spaces. Scale the height of the brackets. For
example, I discovered that if the stack had two elements the brackets
had to be scaled vertically to 220% to look right. Save this to the
Scrapbook. Repeat for all possible number of items in the stack (one to
eight), scaling the brackets as appropriate for each number of items in
the stack. Save each one to the Scrapbook. Thus the Scrapbook will have
eight bracket sets that can be dragged onto the pasteboard to create a

In similar fashion, create one- to eight-element text frames with
placeholder text and save to the Scrapbook.

Assemble each formula using a set of brackets of the appropriate size
and its matching text frame. Edit the text frame for the items that
need to be in the formula, and edit the brackets frame to add or remove
non-breaking spaces so it will be the appropriate width. Using guides,
line up the center text frame with the brackets text frame so they look
correct. Group the item, then copy and paste into the document page
where it is needed.

Cons: When the brackets are scaled they stick way outside their text
frame and I can't figure out any way to make them stay inside their
text frame. Therefore, the grouped object will have an empty space on
the top or bottom. 

2) Variation on the above: Scale the brackets as above, then convert to
paths. Now they won't stick outside their text frame.

Cons: Since they are now graphics the width can't be adjusted just by
adding or deleting non-breaking spaces.

3) Create the formulas in KFormula and export as vector EPS. Place into
Scribus document.

Cons: This will require hundreds of little EPS files on the hard disk.
And God help me if I accidentally delete one of them. Also, much more
time-consuming because of the multiple steps. KFormula could also use
SVG, except that it is broken and I get error messages when I try it.

4) Ditto the above except use OpenOffice.org's Math utility. Except OOo
can't export to EPS, so print to PS, then place the PS as a vector into

Cons, same as (3) above - hundreds of little files linked to the
Scribus document. Also time-consuming because of the multiple steps.
And OOo Math is buggy.

5) Ditto the above except use LyX for creating the formulas, and save
to PS.

Better solution because it is less buggy. But it is a pain to specify
the font I need. And I can't get it to save to PS using XeTeX (needed
in order to specify the font I need), although someone told me it can
be done. 

6) Some better idea that someone on this list has. 

I am hoping that (6) turns out to be the killer solution. :)

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