[scribus] How to get cool tables in Scribus. Yes!

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Tue Apr 14 18:52:40 CEST 2009

I do textbooks and workbooks, so tables are pretty important to me. I
am using 1.3.5svn and it still has only the grouped frame workaround. I
don't know how long it will be before Scribus has real tables, so I
kept working at alternatives, and I finally have a method that works.

OpenOffice.org Writer is great for creating tables. It has just about
any feature you need. But how to get the Writer table into Scribus?

You can export the table from OOo as PDF if you select the table, then
choose "selection" in the PDF export dialog box. Unfortunately, PDF is
the only export option from Writer. OOo Draw can export to EPS, which
would be a better format, but Draw will make a hopeless mess of a table
created in Writer and then pasted into Draw. And you do NOT want to try
to create a table de novo in Draw. Trust me on that.

>From Writer you can also print "selection" to file and create a PS
file. You can place this into Scribus with File > Import > Get Vector
File. However, I found a bug in Scribus that messes up the text in the
table when it is imported, making this procedure unusable for the time
being. (Issue 0007936 on Mantis bug tracker.) I also tried using ps2eps
to convert the PS file to EPS. But when I tried placing the EPS using
File > Place > Get Vector File I got the same messed up text. The PS
and EPS files appear correctly in other programs, so I know the problem
is somewhere in Scribus.

But finally I found a method that works:

1) In Writer select the whole table. Export to PDF and be sure to check
    the "selection" box in the export dialog box.
2) Fire up Inkscape, then import the PDF. (Side tip: In case you want
    to edit the PDF you can ungroup it in Inkscape and then do anything
    you want to it.)
3) Save the file in Inkscape, using its native SVG format. 
4) In Scribus go to File > Import > Get Vector File. Select the SVG,
    and place it into your Scribus page.
5) Go have a beer.

I hope that helps others who need real tables but want to use Scribus.

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