[scribus] Best practice: creating a template

Peter Palmreuther pitpalme+scribus at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 23:46:46 CET 2010


wish everybody to have had a great Christmas.

I'm using Scribus 1.3.9 on a Mac OS X 10.6.5 and about to create an internal
PDF newsletter document.

At first I was wondering if there are any plans on enabling Scribus to produce
tagged PDF files, so these could become "PDF/UA safe".
It really is a matter for us and as soon somebody notices the newsletter is
not even close to PDF/UA I fear some people will intervene and try to force me
to use MS Word to create this newsletter *shudder*.

Second I'd like to create a Scribus template for this newsletter, so other
people but me can write the next ones. Unluckily these people don't have the
slightest clue about typesetting or general word processing rules beyond
"starting MS Word, hacking text into the keyword, using the mouse to make some
of it appear bold and red". The fact they figured there's a two column layout
possible already is surprising.

So what I'm trying to achieve is creating an easy to use template with all
relevant elements being present or easily available. Preconfigured as much as

So my vision was to

- create a template, so a new newsletter can easily be created w/o copy/paste
  a file manually
- make this template contain an own scrapbook for some variable elements that
  should be pre-setup, but are optional and therefore only inserted when
- if possible put all used fonts beside the template, so easy transfer of the
  template is possible. But I confess this is probably something that can't
  be easily achieved, so putting the few fonts used to a set up font
  directory shouldn't be a the biggest problem.

The first thing I stuck with is where to put the template. I don't want to
mess with 'Scribus.app' directory on my Mac. Nor do I want to put it to any
Scribus program directory on Windows, which will be the platform others will
be using. What's the predefined, no extra configuration needed, directories
Scribus searched for plugins? I thought putting the .SLA to


would work, but it doesn't. Neither does


Are these paths wrong? Do I nevertheless need to create a template.xml?

Second thing that moves me is if there's a way to have a scrapbook for the
document only? I'd really like to spread the pre-configured elements together
with the document, instead of manually ex- and importing it.

Third thing I don't know how to solve yet is how to deal with master pages and
modifiable elements.
There's a newsletter header. This one is static and surely can be put on a
master page. But than there's a text area for the current date. It should be
alway on the same location and I'd therefore prefer it not being inserted
Having it on the master page disables the chance to modify the value.
Might "Document Item Attributes" be something I can circumvent this dilemma? I
never understood the usage of these ...

Thanks for any help, tips, or other input.
Best regards,


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