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

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Wed Apr 15 00:34:49 CEST 2009

On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 19:19:38 +0200
Christoph Schäfer <christoph-schaefer at gmx.de> dijo:

> Am Dienstag, 14. April 2009 18:52:40 schrieb John Jason Jordan:
> > 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.
> Copy your Writer table into Calc and use Calc for the final formatting. Then 
> copy the columns and rows of your table to the clipboard. Open a new Draw 
> document, use Ctrl+Shift+V and select "GDI Metafile" in the dialog. Then 
> export the selection to EPS. Unless your gs is badly configured, the 
> resulting EPS will be imported flawlessly into Scribus.

I didn't try Calc at all because I'm pretty sure that in Calc you can't
use all the formatting options for tables that you can in Writer.
Tables in Writer were made to be design elements more than places for
sorting and calculating. If you can format to the extent you need to in
Calc, then Christoph's suggestion is another option.

I should add another issue that may make Christoph's suggestion better
than my approach. After doing a few tables my way I discovered that
Inkscape was putting a bounding box around the image the size of the
page in which the original table had been created.

Let me make that clearer. The original table had been created in a
Writer document with inside margins set to 93.6 points and outside
margins set to 57.6 points. The table extended horizontally from the
left margin to the right margin. On an 8.5 x 11 inch page that made the
table exactly 460.8 points wide.

At first I just selected the table and exported to PDF (checking the
box for Selection), then opened the table in Inkscape. Unfortunately,
OOo's current PDF export function has a few issues. In this case it was
adding the page number to the top of the PDF, even though I had
selected only the table. 

To get around this I created a new blank, one-page blank Writer
document into which I pasted the table before exporting. This document
had equal margins of 75.6 points, leaving the same 460.8 points of
editable space. I used this blank document as a scratch document.

When I exported from the scratch document to PDF and opened the PDF in
Inkscape it looked fine (no page number). Then I saved as SVG from
Inkscape and placed the SVG into Scribus. It looked fine in Scribus
until I moved it. The instant I moved it the graphic developed a
bounding box around it the size of the entire 8.5 x 11 inch page, with
(strangely) the margins of the original Writer document, not the
scratch document. Don't ask. I have no idea why. The computer gods work
in mysterious ways.

Eventually I discovered how to stop the bounding box from appearing.
Once the PDF has been imported into Inkscape, go to Item > Ungroup. I
have to do this several times to get all the elements ungrouped. Then I
can save as SVG and place into Scribus without having the bounding box

I'm just thrilled to have a way to get a nice table into Scribus.

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