[scribus] Ventura Publisher

Murray Strome wmstrome at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 5 14:15:50 CEST 2010

On Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:42 PM, "Baseball Bob" <help at scribus.info> wrote:

I am trying to drop Windows altogether, and go to Ubuntu.  But I run a baseball league for kids every summer, and depend on Ventura Publisher ( a WYSIWYG desktop publishing program) to make all necessary forms, and to produce good-looking many-page manuals for coaches and parents.  I wonder if moving to Scribus would be workable for me?  I don't need absolute compatibility with Ventura, but I have found Ventura to be very convenient over the years, so would like a Linux DTP program that has similar attributes.  Would Scribus be good for me?  Or is it mainly just a single-page layout program, that might bog down when tackling something like a 35-page user manual for example?
There is virtually no limit to the size of a document you can create with Scribus. However, for speed, it is usually a good idea to break your project into pieces that are no more than 10-20 pages in length.

I normally create sections that are 1-5 pages, create the PDF, then (using Kubuntu), I use "pdftk" to combine the sections. If the pages are all the same format (e.g. no difference between left and right pages), for a 35 page manual, I would probably create 5 seven page sections: Part1, Part2 ... Part 7. 

Because Scribus creates very large PDF files, I would then use the script, compress-newsletter.pl which you can get at http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Web_optimised_PDF as follows:

$> compress-newsletter.pl Part[n].pdf

This will produce a file Part[n].new.pdf, which is typically about one-tenth the size of the original file, plus a file called Part[n].meta

I then do the following:
$> rm *.meta
$> rm Part[n].pdf
$> mv Part[n].new.pdf Part[n].pdf

Finally, I use pdftk to combine the seven sections as follows:

pdftk A=Part1.pdf B=Part2.pdf C=Part2.pdf D=Part3.pdf E=Part4.pdf F=Part 5.pdf G=Part6.pdf H=Part7.pdf output complete_manual.pdf

This will result in your 35 page manual.

If there is to be a difference between the left and right sides of the pages, then I would probably make sure each section (except possibly the last) was an even number of pages. 

Someone else may have a better, more efficient work flow, but this does work well for me. I am currently creating a photobook that will be over 100 pages using this technique.

I have never used Ventura Publisher, and I am quite new to the whole paradigm of Desktop Publishing, so I cannot compare the two software packages.

Although I do have Windows XP on two of my (dual boot) computers, I avoid using it except for editing videos (I have not found a suitable video editing package that compares with Pinnacle Studio in Windows -- Cinelera is just too difficult to use) and preparing my Income Tax returns (again, I haven't seen anything suitable in LINUX).

I hope this helps you.


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