[scribus] Business Cards from Scribus?

D. R. Evans doc.evans at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 01:08:03 CEST 2009

Gregory Pittman said the following at 09/19/2009 06:46 AM :

> An alternative plan is to use Multiple Duplicate.
> First, make an individual frame and create the card contents. This could 
> also include superimposed graphics, which you then group.
> Next, use Multiple Duplicate to copy the required number of times for 
> columns. Versions 1.3.5+ allow you to either specify an offset from the 
> prior copy or a gap between frames/groups.
> Finally, select the row of frames/groups you have just made and again 
> Multiple Duplicate down the page for the required number of rows on your 
> sheet. Obviously, you can do rows first, columns second if you wish.

I have just spent an hour trying to build a page of Avery 8160 mailing
labels... and have given up :-(

Before I try to describe the problem(s) I experienced, I have to say that
with Publisher I simply created the label and sent it to the printer, and
it worked fine first time.

That said, with Scribus, and the same printer, I simply could not get the
labels to line up properly, at least not with any rational values for the
location and separation of the labels.

8160 labels are 2.625" x 1". There are three labels to a row and ten
columns on a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper. The upper left hand label by
measurement has a left border 0.125" from the left of the paper, and a top
border 0.500" from the top of the paper.

So the first thing I did was to create a label entirely in a 2.625" x 1"
frame at (x, y) = (0.125, 0.500) on a letter-sized sheet.

Just sending that to the printer resulted in an immediate problem: the
resultant label prints about 0.5" too low, and about 0.125" to the left. I
have no idea why.

So I changed (x, y) to (0.250, 0.0). The first label then printed in the
right place (or at least a reasonable place), although I don't understand
at all why I needed to adjust the (x, y) values, nor how I could have known
what the right adjustment was without printing a test label.

By measurement, the separation between labels on the sheet horizontally is
0.15625" (5/32"); vertically it is 0.00".

If I put those values into "Multiple Duplicate", though , the resulting
printed labels do not register properly on the sheet... labels drift
leftward (with respect to the physical paper labels) as one moves to the
right on the sheet; they also drift upwards as on goes down the sheet.

It is doubtless true that by adjusting the "Multiple Duplicate" values I
could have ended up (eventually) with a whole sheet of labels that register
correctly on the paper.

I do not understand why any of this is necessary, though. Maybe my
measurements are off, although I don't think they can be off by much.

However, given that Publisher manages to do the right thing without any
fuss, I went back to that.

Please note that I am not complaining; I am simply reporting my experience
as a naïf but not completely stupid user. It is perfectly possible (indeed
it seems likely) that the problems were a result of operator error... but I
did what seemed sensible to me, and ended up completely confused as to why
things weren't working the way I expected. So some sort of precise, correct
set of instructions to help people like me might be really useful. Even
better would be some sort of macro that does all the "right stuff"
(whatever the "right stuff" is) so that the user can be pretty confident
that labels (and business cards) will print properly without the need for
knowledge that this user at least doesn't have.


PS To print, I had to export to PDF and then print the PDF. Printing
directly to the printer locked up the printer every time. I had never tried
printing directly from Scribus to a printer before. I have no idea why it
failed; no other application has trouble printing to the printer (which is
physically attached to a server machine). Maybe being forced to go through
the step of producing a PDF prior to printing was the cause of some or all
of the problems.

Web:  http://www.sff.net/people/N7DR

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