[scribus] Transparency, PDF export, and file size

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Mon Mar 22 07:27:11 CET 2010

I have a bewildering array of options available to solve this problem,
but so far I haven't hit on the right combination.

The problem:

I have an .sla file of 96 MB that consists of a 132 page book. Several
of the pages have transparency. I need to print to laser printers with
PostScript level 2 or PCL 5. The document was created in Fedora 11
x86_64 with

The transparency pages all have various graphics frames with
transparent fill so the underlying text frames show through. If I save
to PDF 1.3 these come out as solid black. I need to export to PDF 1.4
or 1.5 to get them to appear transparent. However, outside of the
transparency, the document has nothing fancy, not even color images. In
fact, there are not even bitmap images. Everything is either text or
vector images in black and white.

Unfortunately, both PDF 1.4 and 1.5 create a PDF file of over 200 MB. It
takes several minutes just to open one of these files in any of my
various PDF viewers (Adobe Reader 9.2, Carbaret, Foxit, Evince,
Okular). And when I try to print them the laser printers run at glacial

In the past my preferred solution to such problems was to print to file
with Adobe Reader on Windows specifying a PCL5 driver. This created a
PRN file which I could send to the printers with lpr. Printing was fast
and accurate. But this time Reader on Windows will not print to file.
After half an hour it remains stuck on 0% and the file is 0 bytes.
Adobe Reader on Linux will only create PS files, but it does the same
thing - gets stuck at 0%.

I can print to PS file directly from Scribus, but the resulting file
has solid black. In other words, it does not preserve the transparency.

What I need is a way to export to small PDF or PS while preserving

Any suggestions welcome.

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