[scribus] Merge layers capability.

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Fri Aug 28 15:33:04 CEST 2009

On Thursday 27 August 2009 10:49:20 a.l.e wrote:
> hi john
> > To be clear I am asking for an internal way to merge layers down
> > in such a way that the overall appearance is not affected, as can
> > be done in Gimp.  Scribus using pdf 1.3 output will today reduce
> > layers, but effects like blends are lost.
> there are two functionalities in gimp:
> - on exporting to jpg or png you can reduce the image to one layer
> - you can manually merge down one (or several?) layers.
> the first will not be implemented (always afaik) in scribus in the
> near future (but is plannned and difficult).
> the second can already be achieved by copy-pasting the items from
> one layer to another (and setting the correct blends for the
> elements pasted).
> the .sla won't export better to pdf 1.3, though: the problem is not
> that there are layers, but that you have transparencies which have
> to be flattened.
> so at the end, what you are looking for  (if i understood
> correctly) is flattening of transparencies not merging of layers.
> have fun
> a.l.e

Some printing standards (PDF/X1a:2001 comes to mind) won't handle 
either layers or transparencies. So there is a need to flatten the 
layers and also blend if necessary the items on those layers.  In 
other words is there is a semi-transparent band as a background for 
some text on e.g. a book cover or a newsletter headline (think the 
Yugo tutorial) there needs to be a way to preserve that visual 
effect.  This would be a manual, layer at a time process. 

Layers in Scribus are very handy during development because they can 
be made invisible or visible as needed. 

I can handle the problem by exporting to pdf 1.5, viewing the 
resultant pdf in Acrobat Reader, printing to file and converting the 
resultant PS file to pdf 1.3 or X/3.  But that is a clumsy and 
complex approach and may cause some degradation of e.g., print.  

My request is simple to state but probably difficult to accomplish: 
provide a way to merge layers  and objects in layers while keeping 
the appearance of the document the same, in order to accommodate the 
requirements of some big printers in the USA. 

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

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