# [scribus] Long Document Preparation Workflows

Aaron W. Hsu arcfide at sacrideo.us
Fri Jan 1 19:00:56 CET 2010

Hello everyone,

I've been trying to search through the archives for answers to my
questions, but I'm afraid that I haven't quite found them. Many of the
responses seem to relate to older versions of Scribus. Perhaps someone can
help me with long document preparation.

I tend to write strong text-oriented documents which have a lot of
character styles and a fairly complex hierarchy of headings and other
cross-references, &c. For the most part, I'm a long time Plain TeX user. I
write my styles, and then my books/papers/essays just sort of fall out of
that. However, I've been curious about scribus since someone recommended
it to me a short time ago, and I gave it a try on one of my recent papers.
It was a small nine page paper, so I didn't think it would be too much
work.

I am using version 1.3.5 of Scribus.

to extend only to individual text frames. So, I can't really attach
would probably be okay if you only want to record the chapter entires, but
in books with lots of subsections that also receive an entry in the
contents, this seems like a major hassle. Is this the only contents
support in Scribus at this time?

Additionally, references are very critical in many of the documents I
create. I want to be able to move around whole sections and have them
automatically renumbered, and all the cross-references to those sections
adjusted. There doesn't seem to be any support for this in Scribus, but I
wanted to check to be sure. Moreover, there does not seem to be any
similar citation or bibliography support. Is this also correct?

For building large technical documents with many references, links, and
the like, it seems like Scribus could be a good tool, but I'm a bit
confused about the normal workflow for these things in a program like
Scribus. I come from the TeX world, where you first program your style,
and then you write the content using the markup you have created. This
means that all the layout work is done programmatically. This can be a
headache to learn at first, but the advantage is that there is zero manual
layout work that is done once the right computations are determined.
Obivously, this appeals to someone who writes long books that focus on
consistency of style, rather than individual point oriented alignment such
as one might do with a newsletter or magazine. I have seen some of the
tutorials on the wiki, but most of them seem to be focused on short
document preparation. Does anyone have any recommendations for long
document preparation?

I should also mention that I normally do everything with a text editor,
and I don't even have OpenOffice.org installed. I really really don't want
to have to use OpenOffice.org if I can avoid it. However, Text filters
only seem to be able to apply paragraph styles. Is there no way to apply
character styles? For example, I have a lot of entries that might look
like this in TeX:

\datatype{data-name}{maker}{predicate?}{\field{field1} \field{field 2}}

Which would turn into:

\medskip\noindent
{\bf Name:} {\codef data-name}\hfil\break
{\bf Constructor:} {\procf maker}\hfil\break
{\bf Predicate:} {\procf predicate?}\hfil\break
{\bf Fields:} \field{field1} \field{field 2}\hfil\break
\medskip

Now, I can do some rudimentary paragraph styles on this thing with Scribus
and get the same result except that I can't change the character style of
the individual components in the above paragraphs. This means that I would
have to edit manually hundreds of these entries. Additionally, each one of
these would receive a cross-reference and index entry, which, with a
little more TeX work would happen automatically. Are these sorts of things
possible using Scribus?

If Scribus can't do them natively, is there some sort of workflow that
allows for this sort of development which doesn't force me to do
everything manually?

Aaron W. Hsu

--
A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.