# [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
wrote:
> 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
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:

\textit{foo}
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
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
sphere.
--
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters
http://wexfordpress.com