[scribus] Among the vices:,Dead slow with book length files

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Wed Aug 4 14:22:09 CEST 2010

On Tuesday 03 August 2010 21:12:54 John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Tue, 03 Aug 2010 19:01:37 -0500
> Michael Chamness <chamness at daktel.com> dijo:
> >  Quark recommends chapters into discrete files for books. Somebody
> >recently mentioned that for books in Scribus also. Makes sense to me.
> >I've only done one book, that in Quark in 2005, 160 pages with lots of
> >images, but every chapter sits in its own file on the DVD archive
> >discs, all images sit in an image file.
> However QuarkXPress, InDesign, and other layout apps, and even office
> word processors these days, offer a "master document" feature. The
> advantage of the master document is that it automatically keeps your
> pagination continuous across all the individual "chapter" files. It
> also enforces styles across all the chapters. And for those apps that
> do indexing and footnotes it keeps them continuous as well. And when
> you export to PDF from the master document it automatically adds the
> chapters so you don't have to export individual PDFs for each of the
> chapters and then assemble them.
> All of the features of a master document can be done manually as well.
> It's just easier and more convenient to use a master document to keep
> things automatically synchronized. If I add pages to chapter 3 of a
> book of ten chapters, then I have to go change the beginning page
> numbers of the following seven files.
> For the above reasons, when doing a recent book of 150 pages I did it
> in one file. Yes, editing was slow. But I discovered a lot of
> workarounds to speed things up. For example, I created a clone of the
> book document, but with a dozen empty pages. This document had all the
> styles of the main document. If I needed to edit a complex vector
> graphic (painfully slow in the main document), I copied it to the
> Scrapbook, then into the small clone document. Editing it in the clone
> document was snappy and easy. When I was finished I copied the new
> version to the Scrapbook, and then into the main document.
> I know speeding up Scribus on long documents is on the enhancement list
> and the developers are doing their best. In the meantime I managed by
> being creative in my work.
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Comparisons can be invidious, I know. But I like to assemble the text of a 
document in one file so that I can index it properly.  Taking my current 
project I would prefer to search the entire document for the key word "Lee"
and make decisions whether and how to index that word consecutively, so 
as to avoid successive entries of 
Lee, Robert
Lee, Robert  E.

I can of course take the finished pdf, save it as text and then build the index 
around that. I do that now with customer files.  But this requires several 
extra steps.

The question of speed on long documents will be with Scribus for a while, 
maybe forever. I suspect the basic mechanisms would have to be radically 

I agree that the master file/subfile/subusubfile etc. mechanism as found in
TeX could be adapted for Scribus, perhaps on the final pass of a completed 
John Culleton
Wexford Press
"Create Book Covers with Scribus"
Printable E-book 38 pages $5.95

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