[scribus] Insert Render Frame in 1.3.5 for Windows

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Fri Mar 6 15:27:59 CET 2009

On Thursday 05 March 2009 09:59:56 am Jeffrey Silverman 
> On Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 9:53 AM, Steven Dayton 
<daytonmeister at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Thanks.
> >
> > I have seen the name Latex but have no idea what it is.
> > Is there a reference you can point me in the direction
> > of to find out more about what these external tools are
> > you mention?
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX
> Used mostly in the academic community.

There is a suite of Open source programs called TeX that are 
the only typesetting tools that compare to InDesign in 
ultimate quality of typeset output. Both use the TeX 
paragraph formatting method which considers the whole 
paragraph before making justification and hyphenation 
decisions. However TeX is not WYSIWYG. Instead a source 
file with embedded tags is processed through  the 
particular TeX program much as a computer program is run 
through a compiler.  

The base program (called initex) is never used by itself, 
but always has a "format" such as LaTeX or Plain. The LaTeX 
format is the most popular format but I don't like it and 
prefer to use the one called pdftex.  It is simpler, less 
verbose and gives me more control.  For example to 
italicize a word LaTeX uses:

but plain TeX (including pdftex) would use
{\it foo}

TeX is heavy on math formula typesetting, typesetting with a 
bibliography and typesetting with one or more indexes.  I 
use it for general book typesetting and indexing.  

I regret the use of LaTeX instead of plain TeX in Scribus. 
But I understand why it was done.  

How does TeX (any fklavor) compare to Scribus? Well they are 
completely different. But for setting text TeX is miles 
ahead. It has refinements such as hanging punctuation 
(called optical alignment,) and an optional feature that 
can automatically adjust each character in width by tiny 
amounts to aid in justification and so on. Further, since 
it runs as a serial batch program against a text file it 
handles books of thousands of pages if necessary. It works 
like a sausage machine--you feed in text here and a pdf 
file comes out there.  Also you can subdivide the input 
text into subfiles and call them in in sequence.  It makes 
and numbers pages on the fly.  For indexing, toc generation 
and so on two passes are necessary, one to collect these 
needed info in a separate file and another to insert those 
results in the finished pdf. 

A format called Context hides all these multiple passes.  
They exist, but happen automatically in Context. It is a 
higher level language like LaTeX but unlike LaTeX is under 
control of a single master programmer, Hans Hagen. OTOH 
LaTeX has hundreds (thousands?) of macro packages called 
styles that were written by different programmers in 
different eras. Finding the right one is something like 
finding a leaf in a forest. 

Font handling in TeX requires more fiddling and fussing than 
in Scribus. TeX originally had its own font system and Type 
1, Truetype and now Open Type are addons.  Adding a new 
font to your own TeX installation takes some labor.

In general TeX lacks the ease of construction of complex 
layouts found in Scribus.  But it is is much faster for 
typesetting a book and offers much higher quality layout 
and typesetting automatically, as indicated above.   

I use pdftex for books and indexing and Scribus for book 
covers, fancy flyers and so on.  Each is best in its own 
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

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